The man who..., 2012. 20 kg «depoluted» soil from Coking plant Flémalle, gunnysack 60x8x38 cm and plexiglas 80x25x65 cm.

The man who...
Jean-Michel Botquin

L’Homme qui... is a traveling show which will cross 4 countries and 5 cultural venues.
Liège (Be), MAMAC, Esch-sur-Alzette (Lu), Kulturfabrik, Nord-Pas de Calais, Loos-en-Gohelle (Fr), Culture Commune, Kortrijk (Be), Theater Antigone, Torino (It), Assemblea Teatro.

Born from the collaboration between five European cultural operators, the exhibition The man who prolongs the reflection conducted by Nicolas Ancion in his novel The man who was valued at 35 billion by questioning work, relationships between contemporary art and industry and on the print that it leaves on men and women, landscapes, economy and our societies.
Two years ago, Marie Zolamian transformed into casemate the entrance of the castle of Petite Flemal, building occupied today the city hall of Flémalle in Liège region. Resonance of world and its conflicts, this installation and the quasi cinematographic device aroused multiple questions in tune with the world as it is, that one thinks to wars and to terrorism, extremisms, to migratory flows, to climatic changes, to fears and to hyper security.
Marie Zolamian projected to use the land of the former coking plant of Flémalle in order to fill the hundreds of sandbags of her installation. Since 2009, 8500 tons of cyanided land are in fact being decontaminated in this emblematic site.
Using these cleared land would have concentrated the industrial past of the town and focused on the rehabilitation of the landscape, on the current implementation planning for economic, social and environmental recovery in the region. It’s called the Marshall Plan, the consonance is historical and political. The current regulations on the soil treatment of contaminated soil has prevented her.
This time, when it comes to question the world of labour and industry, on the trace that it leaves on the environment, the artist goes back to her first intention and bagged, ignoring permissions, twenty kilos of the former coking plant soil, loaded with cyanide, tar, asbestos, benzene and naphthalene. Cautious and caring for the visitor of the exhibition, she isolated the sandbag in a transparent container, and accompanied her piece with a warning, an excerpt from the decree on soil management, «December 5, 2008 - Decree to soil management. Section 3 - Prevention and Information. Art. 3. Everyone is obliged to take appropriate measures to protect the soil and prevent further pollution of the soil.»

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