Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques – Eden
Eden is constructed around one of the core elements of Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques’s long-term project, Eden—initiated as part of Immersion: A French American Photography Commission, created by Fondation d’entreprise Hermès and Aperture Foundation. From the outset, Couzinet-Jacques’s proposal included the purchase of a small, historical schoolhouse in Eden, North Carolina, as a site for exploring ideas of property, ownership, and image-making. One of his first activities was to scan the entire exterior of the house; the primary component of this book is the reproduction of the almost one thousand scans of the façade. In other words, the book contains the photographic shell of the building.
Woven throughout the gritty, distillate images of the house are elements from the four stages of the project’s development over the course of one year. The first stage deals with the prospecting and research of a house and of Eden; the second concerns the buying of the Little Red Schoolhouse; the third documents the repairs made to the house; and, finally, the fourth stage presents the exploration and experimentation in and around the house. These materials incorporate historical and legal documents pertaining to the house, as well as video and photographic documentation of the past year.
Eden presents the first iteration of this long-term, ongoing project, in which Couzinet-Jacques will continue to invite other artists to create site-specific explorations of the house and to engage with the site as an incubator for creative activities—an intentional blurring of the lines between art and everyday life. In November 2016, an exhibition of this work will appear in the Aperture Gallery.