I woke at 7.00 to create an installation in a friend's barn as part of the "De Ferme en Ferme" (an open day for organic farms in the area) with three other artists.
The sheep were milked at 8.00, so I couldn't set up until they had left the barn. When I arrived the smell of sheep-shit was overwhelming, still steaming. This must have been the coldest and wettest day we have had in a long time - the barn might be warm and cosy for the sheep, but I was freezing. The roof leaked and many of the drips landed exactly where I wanted to place the screen, simple solution, hang a bucket over it to catch them.
The barn was dark, so I exploited this: two spots gave a warm light, the paintings on metal seemed to glow from behind as the light hit them whilst they swung in the wind, which incessantly hurtled through.
The afternoon was quite entertaining, following a long May-Day lunch many visitors were just a little intoxicated, some rolling about in the hay (pulling cables), some singing and others just giggling - a unique experience amidst my videos and paintings. Many stumbled at the fact that the videos were shown on an equal level to the paintings, so I decided that it would have been too much to expect them to be open to the origin of the work, I therefore didn't include a written explanation. Amidst questions about technique and "how long did that take you?", there were thankfully several visitors who took the time to be absorbed in the atmosphere I had created and took an interest in the underlying theme. A French friend told me that this blog, the research and creative work that I'm doing is important, which was refreshing to hear.
The sound of my videos filled the barn; Andi, the farmer, had been recorded milking the sheep, so, in the background, a calming, repetitive and quite meditative sound complemented my installation; I feel though, that it would have been good for the sheep to be roaming in and out, bleating and causing mayhem amidst the cables and lights.The sheep were milked again at 6.00, so, following the final visitors I had to pack up pretty quickly.
Top: 'Blaise Merino setting up sound installation', May 1st 2009. Photo: Jonathan Moss.
Paola di Prima, '"Baches"', Photo. Photo: Jonathan Moss.
Sam Sweeting, ''Bestilalia' featuring Donkey Girl', Video, 2008. Photo: Jonathan Moss
Jonathan Moss, 'La Borde Installation', Video, Painting, Sound, May 1st 2009. Photo: Jonathan Moss.
Bottom: Jonathan Moss, 'La Borde Installation', Video, painting, bucket, May 1st 2009. Photo: Jonathan Moss.