Bringing together life sciences, popular history, and the visual arts, the "C.C.C. (Club Colombophile du Cœur)" (the Pigeon-club of the heart) is an art project that has taken shape around the mystery of avian navigation. Pigeon races are based on these birds’ uncanny ability to return to their pigeon loft when they are released in places they have never seen before. Yet the birds’ internal compass continues to be something of a mystery for pigeon fanciers and scientists. Most pigeon fanciers roll their eyes when asked about the birds’ 6th sense. Some talk about the «magnetic sense,» while others advance the theory of «olfactive maps» or following major highways… To put it another way, they haven’t a clue, and in truth they don’t much care. Eric Giraudet de Boudemange’s project carries on the recent projects that have questioned the appearance of vernacular and folk practices through the prism of a globalized world. It is a club d’esthétique, an esthetics club, a permanent tool making it possible to contemplate the rhythms of a nature that is artificial, technological, and "artialized".
Starting with the construction of a pigeon loft, a group undertaking in partnership with different pigeon fanciers from Essonne, the artist will hold a series of workshops/performances open to all and inspired by scientific experiments on avian navigation (Gustav Kramer’s solar compass, Floriano Papi’s olfactive maps, Shiegeru Watanabe’s experiments on birds’ sensitivity to Cubist and Impressionist paintings, etc.). The residency will thus make it possible to blaze new paths in experimental art, generating collective work with local actors (pigeon fanciers who race the birds, drone pilots), with the aim of creating a series of works inspired by both the scientific and folklore-oriented study of this mysterious navigation.
The pigeons will be associated with a series of workshops/performances that are open to all. These events are meant to foster the creation of new works of art in turn. The scientific experiments, moreover, will make it possible to venture down poetic, formal, and narrative paths that will stimulate the creativity of the project beyond a simple social experiment. Science, mythology, art history—by turns these disciplines will be called upon as the project grows. They allow the artist to question the study of natural mechanisms through the protocols of scientific artifice. It is the beauty of the pigeon fancier’s paradox, the artificialization of a natural phenomenon (domestication of avian navigation) in a playful social practice in order to contemplate its mystery.
Within the framework of the project, Eric Giraudet de Boudemange sees himself working with the region’s craftsmen, including a traditional basket maker when constructing the mirrored pigeon baskets inspired by the Kramer trick; a perfume designer to design a neighborhood fragrance in order to flip the poles of the city map; a magnet specialist to try to create links between the pigeon’s magnetic compass (which is sensitive to the Earth’s magnetic field) and the healing powers of the magnetizer; a choir to attempt to put to music the pigeons’ taking wing, like the interpretations of ancient oracles; the drone network…
The C.C.C. (Club Colombophile du Cœur) takes place within the residency mission of CAC Brétigny. Cœur d’Essonne Agglomération is kicking off in 2017 a three-year partnership with the Regional Direction of Cultural Affairs of Île-de-France and the Academy of Versailles with the signing of a Local Arts Education Contract in partnership with the Department of the Essonne. This residency mission was conceived and developed for the region’s inhabitants, especially local young people, and starts from a network of school establishments, associations, and cultural, social, sociocultural, economic and educational entities in Cœur d’Essonne Agglomération.
Eric Giraudet de Boudemange was born in 1983 in Boulogne Billancourt. He lives in Paris and works in France and abroad. After studying at the École Nationale Nationale Supérieure d'Arts of Paris, at the contemporary art studio of Fresnoy and the Rijksakademie of Amsterdam, he was invited to artistic residencies in many institutions in France but also in the Netherlands, Egypt, Benin and the United States. Recently, he did several performances at the Pompidou Center, the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard and the La Criée center for contemporary art (France) and exhibited at the Fries Museum (Netherlands) and Les Capucins center for contemporary art (France). His works arise from a fieldwork, an ethnographic research which he transforms into the workshop, in personal and poetic narratives. They take various forms: video, installations, sculptures, performances; more recently, video games.