La Ferme du Vinatier
Centre Hospitalier Psychiatrique Le Vinatier – Lyon – 2009
From September to December 2009, a project with La Ferme du Vinatier included an exhibition called Origines, a practical arts workshop, a mobile installation in the park of the Vinatier Psychiatric Hospital, as part of the Fête des lumières in Lyon, accompanied by a performance by students of the CFMI, and the creation of a perennial work called La Biche.
At the invitation of Laurent Fachard (Les Eclairagistes Associés) who worked on the future light system of the hospital, together with La Ferme du Vinatier, a cultural center installed in the grounds of the psychiatric hospital, a project whose missions included: overcoming prejudices about mental illness, the mentally ill and the psychiatric hospital, place the establishment in its urban environment, decompartmentalize it, accompany its transformations. The main idea was to create an installation together with the patients and staff that would help the public to discover, by night, an unknown part of the park which nevertheless had the advantage of rising above the outer walls and which offered a new and contemplative experience of the hospital and the city.
Despite the grounds of the Vinatier Psychiatric Hospital being the third largest park in the agglomeration, open to the public the weekends, the place remains largely ignored by the inhabitants of Lyon, even today. This suburban architecture is built on pastoral and wooded grounds and transforms, at night, into either over or under-lit spaces, undefined, sometimes disquieting. In addition to the historical enclosing wall, the periphery goes around a large part of the park undermining this urban zone, an invisible park on one side, dense suburbs on the other, without communication. The project was put together by referring to the assignments of La ferme du Vinatier but also bearing in mind the problems brought up in the Directive Plan of Urbanism and Landscaping as well as the lighting diagnostic realized by the L.E.A. (Les Eclairagistes Associés), project supervisor of the Directive Scheme of Lighting Environments of the site.
Workshops for health care patients
The patients agreed to participate in the project; within the framework of an exhibition and collective workshops, they discovered the work of the artist (the exhibition Origines), to find their way about the site, to create their own sculptures and to finally install them in the park. The participants were invited to find their inspiration using the theme of biodiversity, a topical subject linked to the projects of sustainable development which defined the restructuring of the hospital, as well as being linked to the historical animal population in the park (deer, goats) and the approach of the artist, then inspired by the oceanic work of Claire Nouvian, a fascinating universe yet to be discovered and already in peril.
Mobile installation within the context of the Festival of Light
During the Festival of Light the public, health care patients and staff of the Vinatier hospital were invited to discover the circuit, lighted by the L.E.A. (Les Eclairagiste Associés) and animated by a performance by students from the CFMI (Training Center for for Musicians Participating in Elementary and Pre-Elementary Schools) and involving sound and bodywork improvisation. The CFMI is a recently integrated structure at the hospital.
(Photo taken from the book « Abysses » by Claire Nouvian, Published by Broché)