François Winants at the Centre Bang
As part of a partnership between the BPS22 and the CALQ (Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec), the artist François Winants is in residence, from January to April 2023, at the Bang contemporary art centre, in Saguenay (Quebec). The residency continues the artist's research on the interactions between the environment and the atmosphere by focusing on the forest terrain of Km3, the boreal and polar environment, from data, photographs and scientific tools.
François Winants graduated from the National School of Visual Arts in La Cambre in 2014. He devotes his time to the study of natural phenomena, the speculation of climate model scenarios and anthropology, with reference authors such as Philippe Descola and Tim Ingold.
For several years, his work has been characterized by an intuitive approach, taking inspiration from scientific research. He covers topics such as the impact of volcanic activity on the atmosphere, research on the prediction of seismic activity, the relationship between fire and forest, the verticality of the environment, natural cycles, etc. Over time, his research has become the chemical witnesses and physical echoes of a world moving forward without us.
His work has been exhibited at the Art et Marges Musée [Art and Margins Museum] and at the ISELP contemporary art centre in Brussels (BE, 2014), at the KIKK Festival in Namur (BE, 2019), and at Art Souterrain in Montreal (2020). He has participated in various residencies such as Imagining Ecological Futures in Namur in partnership with the Goethe-Institut Belgien, the KIKK Festival and the Abattoirs de Bomel (BE, 2019), at MilleFeuilles in Nantes (FR, 2020), at the Résidences-Ateliers Vivegnis International (RAVI) in Liège (BE, 2020), at the Bel Ordinaire in Pau (FR, 2021).
A Km3 of laboratory
In 2021, the Bang contemporary art centre acquired forest land with an area of more than 60 hectares in the municipality of Saint-Nazaire (Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region, about fifty kilometres from Chicoutimi). A new place dedicated to welcoming artists in residence; a unique space for rejuvenation and social innovation. Since 2022, this natural space has been at the heart of a long-term project known since 2022 as the "Km3" Living Laboratory (+ info).
The residency of François Winants is part of this process. He has two projects ongoing there. Starting in 2010, the Transmission project deals with the movement and respiration of the space by capturing the phenomena of exchange and reaction between environments and atmosphere. It is characterized by the development of digital instruments and the use of natural event data from observation towers and meteorological stations.
The Aérographie [Aerography] project is inspired by gas sensors. The project focuses particularly on the analysis of the pH of water in the air in foggy, snowy weather or during the dew point. It also looks at surfaces sensitive to temperature, humidity, sunlight and atmospheric pressure. As part of the residency, François Winants experiments with the extreme environment of this boreal territory to push back the limits of its surfaces. With the support of biologists, he is developing its sensitive surfaces and its own indicators.