Restitution of Earth to the stars
4.5 Billion years ago, stardust clumped and compressed to form our solar system. Back then, Earth was just a ball of molten matter, bombarded with meteorites.Then came the water which brought the first signs of life, 3.8 billion years ago. Colonies of bacteria, blue algae, soft organisms , underwater monsters, walking fishes, flying dinosaurs appeared, developed, mutated and disappeared among millions of other species.
During this time Earth never stopped spitting fire, the continents kept on dancing and the asteroids kept falling from the sky.
Man, meanwhile, was taking his time.
Toumaï, the first hominid, was discovered 7 million years ago. His name means “hope for life”.Homo sapiens only appeared 300,000 years ago. On the scale of the history of the earth, it was only yesterday. They differ from any other animal species by the complexity of their social organisation, their language, their ability to master fire, by the sophistication of their technical and artistic achievements. It is also the only species to have taken possession of the earth, colonised its surface, planted flags, over-exploited its resources, domesticated and enslaved other species by declaring itself the masters of the world, to the point of becoming a destructive force.
Today, Earth is showing signs of revolt: tsunamis, earthquakes, extreme weather events are on the rise. Maybe it’s time to return Earth to the stars?
Return mountains and oceans to the cosmos. Change perspective. Give up our dominant position. Invent a new way of relating to the land and to the rest of the living species. Feel the earth move under our feet. Look further to better see closer.We all carry a drop of water from the sky within us. We all live under the stars. We all die under the night sky. Some even think we are going back, that shooting stars are souls that will reincarnate, or souls that die.
The installation features a bouquet of flags planted in a pile of rubble.
The flags are made from pieces of dyed and painted fabric pierced with holes, and branches collected from the forest, partially gilded with gold leaf. The holes allow light to pass through and transform each flag into a constellation.
Each flag was planted atop a pile of rubble in an urban construction site in Berlin, transforming for a moment the hill of debris into an ancient mountain under the stars. Through this operation, the artist operates the restitution of the earth to the stars, a political and subversive act as much as a spiritual and cathartic ritual.
Participants are invited to create their own flags and plant it in their own environment. The flag-planting gesture that usually marks the conquest of a territory signifies here awareness, renunciation and restitution. By planting the flag, each participant is invited to reconsiders their relation to their environment and contribute to returning the earth to the stars.
Participant can note the geographical coordinates of the site, name the new territory under the constellation, and send their photos to the artist. The photos will be printed and exhibited in the installation.