drailles – Till Roeskens

drailles – Till Roeskens

“The work of art is not only the final form that one sees at the end. Crossing through spaces is part of the work. It is not clear where the work is – so much the better!”

Till Roeskens


Till Roeskens has been a regular guest of the CAIRN Art Centre since two years ago. Driven by his interest in pastoralism, he met and listened to several shepherds from the Haute-Bléone area. Among them was 91 year-old Marcel Segond, whose colourful narrative he saw as an essential testimony. Inspired by the words of this man who has lived on this mountain for almost a century, the Sentier Marcel [Marcel’s Path] artistic work is a trail to be explored on foot. It consists in the installation of a series of fragments of Marcel’s narrative along a route which he took throughout his life, thus enabling him to follow a way of life and a mountain path at the same time. Individual memory is thus integrated within collective history. Following the story that you discover while going along the way, visitors can read in the landscape the traces of the upheavals that have impacted these mountains and the life of the local people: from the war against the German invader to the invasion by devastating capitalism, which gradually disconnected people from their living environment.


Officially opened on 24 June 2017 – on the occasion of the weekend dedicated to the Fête de la Montagne (Mountain Festival) – this project will be presented as part of the drailles [walking trails] exhibition, which is on view at the CAIRN Art Centre from 24 June to 17 September 2017. The exhibition will also be the occasion to discover the second project realized by Till Roeskens, with the shepherd Charles Garcin. This meeting gave life to maps that draw a subjective geography of the mountains around Chavailles: that of the shepherd Charly who lives on them. By locating the localities on the basis of oral memory, the representation of the territory arises from its interior and the work thus becomes the voice of an intangible heritage that is in danger of being lost.


Punctuated with humour, without ever giving in to the nostalgic feeling of the past, the drailles [walking trails] exhibition takes us through the poetry of words and images to discover a complex reality, revealed in the encounter with places and those who have lived in them.

In an artistic approach based on immersion, Till Roeskens does not follow a pre-established methodology. With an attentive viewpoint free from preconceptions, the artist remains unpretentious in the position of a foreigner who allows himself to be borne by encounters and shared experiences. Following the chance circumstances of various situations, like a nomadic storyteller without a destination, his route Is devised along the way.


In connection with the theme of pastoralism, and at the opening of the drailles [walking trails] exhibition, the CAIRN Art Centre will present the documentary film Famouras by director Amanda Robles in an open-air screening outside the Art Centre, in the grounds of the Musée Promenade. Following a process that integrates the images taken by the protagonists with regard to the director, the film tells the story of a young couple of shepherds in summer in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence area. Faced with the challenges of a life that comes back to essentials, the film shows us how to live in mountains and to live pastoralism as a possible future way.



* Follow signs for “Sentier Marcel” (“Marcel ‘s Path”), then orange waymarks.

Length of trail: 2 km. Overall climb of trail: 230 m. Difficulty: medium.




During his residency, Till Roeskens produced his artist’s booklet “drailles” [walking trails], published by Editions Fage. It will be presented at the opening of the exhibition at the CAIRN Art Centre, on 23 June 2017, in the presence of the artist.



TILL ROESKENS – biography

Till Roeskens was born in 1974 in Freiburg, Germany. An amateur of applied geography, he explores various artistic practices along the paths he takes, the areas he passes through and the people he meets along the way. From his travels and peregrinations, he brings back words, images and sounds to restore them in the form of a book, a video film, a slide show or other simple installations. Since 2004, he has realized several projects under the generic title of Plan de situation, une invitation à l’exercice du regard sur un lieu précis pour interroger l’infinie complexité du réel [Location map: an invitation to take a close look at a precise place in order to examine the infinite complexity of reality]. He is notably the author of the book À propos de quelques points dans l’espace [About some points in space] (published by Al Dante, 2014) written and composed at the Villa Medici, and of the film Vidéocartographies: Aïda Palestine (Grand Prix of the French competition, FID Marseille documentary film festival, 2009).





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