Etienne de France - Looking for the Perfect Landscape

Date : Thursday, January 17, 2019 Thursday January, 17th at 19pm

Theme : Screening of Etienne de France’s film, Looking for the Perfect Landscape followed by a conversation between Etienne de France and T.J. Demos and a Q&A at the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard in Paris, France.

Invited in 2017 by FLAX, Etienne de France collaborated with the Mohave people of the Colorado River Indian Tribes Reservation for the creation of his film and project Looking for the Perfect Landscape. The film examines the usage and representation of the territories of the Southwest through the eyes of Jamahke, a young Native American.

Jamahke, a young Mohave artist, works for the Colorado River Indian Tribe Museum in Parker, Arizona. A skateboarder, he carries and perpetuates an important heritage in practicing the traditional “Bird Songs”. The texts of these songs are spiritual cards and describe the voyages of souls across the ancestral lands of the Mohave.

One day, Jamahke is hired by a production company to scout film locations for a period piece on the first encounters between the Mohave people and the conquistadors. Through this work, he meets diverse members of his community and travels the places and sacred sites in the reservation as well as their native lands. Transformed by the different strata of colonization of the United States, these lands continue to be threatened by the development of urbanization and the extraction of natural resources. This scouting quickly reveals the necessity of highlighting these realities.

The film premiered at the Echo Park Film Center in Los Angeles. Etienne de France was then invited by the Colorado River Indian Tribes Reservation to screen his film during their Fall Gathering and in their library and archival center.

Looking for the Perfect Landscape will be presented at the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard in the presence of the artist and T.J. Demos, art historian, critic, and theorist. They will address the themes that run through their practices: how to question the ideological construction and systems of representation of the landscape of the American Southwest, this “perfect” landscape? How to address the language that these representations constructed through the infrastructures and economic systems tied to this territory?

 In collaboration with France Los Angeles Exchange (FLAX) and LAccolade Urban Art residence.

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