Biennale internationale d'art contemporain

The actions we perform here have repercussions on the other side of the world; Everything we send into the air falls back on us, the wind pushes the clouds, the biosphere works like a washing drum where everything mixes in the water of the sea, the water of the air, the water of our rivers, the water of our bodies. Yes, the garden is planetary... 

Gilles Clément


Everything is in bloom in Melle. The pulse of nature, its inhabitants, and the depth of its history are the fertile soil of a present-day activism, aware of the urgent need to reinvent our ways of functioning. So, when the town hall asked me to imagine the programming for this 10th edition of its biennial, it seemed obvious to me to align it with the thinking of Gilles Clément and the garden of resistance he created here in 2007: Jardin d’eau, - Jardin d’orties.

The stinging and therapeutic nettle has become my artistic advisor; it will be our emblem. Like the Melle arboretum and its collections, the works of fifty artists will compose an ephemeral score, a vision of the state of the world through the prism of universal ecological issues, both a crystallization and a manifesto. From resonances to alienations, the visitor's journey will invite an immersive and sensitive experience, made of narrative beginnings and paradoxical images of our era, to awaken consciences and rekindle the taste for wonder.

For "Nous Merveillons" (We Marvel) draws inspiration from the hedgerows to proliferate in the city a bush-like thinking, a flurry of questions, and the prelude to a symbiosis with the living. From landscaped sites to heritage locations, the public traverses a geography, measures the topography, discovers the works nestled in Melle's vegetative fabric as well as in its spaces of civic and daily life.

And if art helps to strengthen the roots of doubt and curiosity, then perhaps we will have contributed, here, all together, to taking care of the future.

Evariste Richer 

Artistic Director of the 2024 Biennial

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