Parsons Paris Gallery: EXILE : Le Vent Tourne and Liquid Traces

As part of the Memories and Politics in Exile Symposium, Parsons Paris invited artists and Julien Fargetton, Charles Heller and Lorenzo Pezzani to show their work related to migration and refugees in the Parsons Paris gallery. The work will be on display until November 1st.


Julien Fargetton
Le Vent tourne, 2016 (Changing Winds)

Flags often represent conflicting values: heritage and collective identity, but also nationalism and, as a consequence, exclusion. For artist Julien Fargetton, Le Vent tourne depicts a flag that is synonymous with today’s migration crisis. This European flag flies here in Paris but is propelled by winds that come from elsewhere, winds from the Aegean sea. The fan which blows the flag is powered and directed corresponding to the real time weather data collected from the Aegean sea region. In this way the piece manifests for the viewer in some small way the weather conditions experienced by those who are crossing the sea and looking for a safe haven. Through Le Vent tourne, Fargetton delivers a blowing wind originating from far away, as if borders have been demolished by the blast of a fan that bellows his flag. We can interpret the piece as questioning what is the future of the European Union and what will come next for those who seek to make it their home.




Charles Heller and Lorenzo Pezzani — Liquid Traces, 2014
Liquid Traces offers a synthesis of our reconstruction of the events of what is known as the “left-to-die boat” case, in which 72 passengers who left the Libyan coast heading in the direction of the island of Lampedusa on board a small rubber boat were left to drift for 14 days in NATO’s maritime surveillance area, despite several distress signals relaying their location, as well as repeated interactions, including at least one military helicopter visit and an encounter with a military ship. As a result, only 9 people survived. In producing this reconstruction, our research has used against the grain the “sensorium of the sea” – the multiple remote sensing devices used to record and read the sea’s depth and surface. Contrary to the vision of the sea as a non-signifying space in which any event immediately dissolves into moving currents, with our investigation we demonstrated that traces are indeed left in water, and that by reading them carefully the sea itself can be turned into a witness for interrogation. As a time-based media, the animation also gives form to the Mediterranean’s differential rhythms of mobility that have emerged through the progressive restriction of legal means of access to the EU for certain categories of people and the simultaneous acceleration of the flows of goods and capital.

Charles Heller joined us for a panel discussion and gallery opening. 



Photos by Puxan BC