Paysage de Feu

Chaumont sur le Loire, France
Photo © Eric Sander
Photo © Eric Sander
Photo © Eric Sander
Photo © Eric Sander
Photo © Eric Sander
Photo © Eric Sander
Architectes
Vazio S/A
Lieu
41150 Chaumont sur le Loire, France
Année
2020
Coût
0 - 100 000
Étages
1-5 étages
Client
Festival International des Jardins de Chaumont sur le Loire
Équipe
Daila Coutinho, Frederico Almeida, Carlos M Teixeira

The 2020 edition of the International Garden Festival in Chaumont-sur-le-Loire was opened last May, and among the gardens of the exhibition is Paysage de Feu, Vazio S/A’s installation made with trees from the Cerrado.

With an international reputation, Chaumont is “the world laboratory in the field of gardens and contemporary landscape creation”, and takes place on the premises of a castle built 500 years ago in the Loire Valley, the region in the interior of France listed by UNESCO and known for its splendid Renaissance castles.

In February 2020, and after a long Brazil-France trip of more than 9,000 kilometers, the branches of the Cerrado arrived in Chaumont, where they were assembled tip down. Our proposal for Festival, whose theme this year is “Return to Mother Earth”, takes the destruction of the Cerrado as a project motto. In the last few months, the eyes of the world have turned to the burning of the Amazon, while the Cerrado continues to be destroyed to become soy and pasture without any national or international repercussion.

Awarded by the Festival’s jury, the garden is an arrangement of pruned branches and burned logs collected in a protected area at the foot of Sierra da Moeda, a mountain range close to the Cerrado House (also designed by Vazio S/A). The project showcases the branches in line, like slaughtered animals hanging in a refrigerator, and functions as a “posthumous botanical garden” of species found in Brazils' hinterlands. In principle, it is a dead garden made up of plants exposed upside down.

In addition to the obvious reference to slaughterhouses, another connotation of the garden is that the Cerrado is a biome of trees with roots much larger than the branches. They are plants adapted to drier regions, capable of reaching very low water tables and, therefore, plants that are more terrestrial than aerial. Organs without eyes and ears that explore an underground world without sun and movement, the roots make trees into amphibious beings, linking earth to air, living in a cryptic world and nourishing the leaves that seek the light (Emanuele Coccia, 2016). It is precisely in the depths of the acid and useless soil of the Cerrado that they find life where no other organism does, transforming everything they touch into energy and food.

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