Sculpture: Stream Path
Artists: Gilles Bruni & Marc Babarit (B/B)
Gilles Bruni was born in 1959 in Nantes, Marc Babarit in 1958 in Cholet. B/B was born in 1985 at Saint-Philbert-de-Grand-Lieu, and they now live in the Loire region of France. After studying Agriculture in the 70s, Bruni and Barbarit experimented independently with painting and sculpture. They abandoned their respective artistic practices in the 80s to share a neutral and common field of experimentation. Concurrently they studied art at the University of Rennes until the middle of the 90s. They divided their time till 2005 between teaching and field work in France and abroad (Germany, USA, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Austria), executing commissions and participating in symposia.
For more information, visit their website at http://pagesperso-orange.fr/bruni.babarit/indexgb.htm.
Gilles Bruni & Marc Babarit (B/B), 1998
"Our first look at the American landscape was conditioned by our European upbringing. The area's urban setting, the rural landscape and the Botanical Garden seemed to us initially to be "loose", in a developmental stage, looking toward the future. The emergence of ecological and land-oriented concerns reinforced the idea of an unrealized potential.
In Europe, landscapes and gardens are usually "licked clean," and the notion of a common patrimony often freezes them in a configuration. The South Carolina Botanical Garden being devoted to various site-specific, landscaping projects seemed more like a forest. It was our great luck that we could interpose ourselves in a natural space and an art program offering an open-mindedness so rarely found in Europe. Our artistic involvement could express itself fully, not a lesson but a proposition.
The interfacing, or the relationship established in the Botanical Garden's sculpture program between Art and Nature is also a reflection of this "future-to-build" concept. We are devoted neither solely to art nor solely to landscape. Without excluding one or the other, we are raising in an ecological way - a scientific, ethical and sociological way - the question of human relations and how they, in turn, relate to a site.
The action in our installations, in the dramatic sense, is the ostentatious construction of relationships with the "other": the space of the site and the collaborators. From that point on, there is a demonstration of the primal, social principles at the foundation of humanity. This common ground, the history of the space, always directs us toward another context, another time. "Taming" a bit of land is like taming a "bit of time," making it your own, ever so briefly.
The installation is seen in different ways, according to whether you penetrate it or walk around it. The stream dug out the bed of a path which is common to us. Everything is in opposition: the shadows and lights, the plants, and the slopes. From this, images are born; they fly out in a more or less furtive state and bang into each other in the rhythm of the arrangements that canalize, suggesting the fluid and crawling animality of the stream, of a serpent.
The Stream Path comes from the materialization of a process and will transform through the decay of wood, the growth of plants, the creating of the stream and the natural order of things imposed through the annual cycles. It will also evolve and melt progressively into the surrounding landscape according to the desires of those who care for it and the diversions of those who visit it."
Stream Path in 2001
Current Condition: December 2013
The recent flooding events have fully eliminated this sculpture and have rendered the site nearly inaccesible.