La Passe – exhibition by Julien Villaret
19, 20, 21 November 2016 in tête, Berlin.

Since decades, intensive farming led to a massive pollution problem on the beaches of Brittany, the western part of France. 

Nitrates rejection in rivers slowly end up in the sea by the stream, and create a development and proliferation of a green algae: the sea lettuce. 

In summer, this algae comes tide after tide to cover most of the coast beaches.
More importantly, it rejects a toxic gas, the Mercaptan, a derivative of sulfur of hydrogen, which can be lethal for mankind and animals.

Lots of ecological associations condemn this situation and face the agriculture lobbies to force the government and the authorities to take radical measures. The change of the production scheme for pork breeding is the key but the economic situation is so sensitive in the region that nobody wants to take the risk to start a conflict with farmers.

The work that I started a few years ago during my summer break in this region, led to the transformation of sea lettuce into pieces of paper. Not a basic printing paper, neither an art paper : Algae paper. This new material reflects the effort and work that can be done to transform a critical pollution problem into a new ecological and aesthetic development opportunity.

La Passe exhibition features several printed objects and sculptures witnessing the transformation process of sea lettuce into Algae paper.

1st room

Stone Paper is a serie of 22 views of rocks surrounding the algae collecting spot near the Chemin de l’île verte in Locquirec.
Each picture silk-printed in 10 ex. with variations of black, white, and silver.

Flipper is a silk-screen printed image mounted on a bearing.
Audience is invited to flip it and play with the flipper.

8 moons is serie a silk-screen print representing the earth satellite who plays an essential role in the organisation of tides and stream.
This image is showing the hidden side of the moon (originally taken by a satellite of the NASA in 2011) and plays with the idea of erasure through an inappropriate use of the silkscreen medium.

Algae Paper Branch, is a sculpture featuring a colony of Algae Paper sheets, once collected and recycled into paper, as the dangerosity of this algae comes with the repetition of its flowing on the beaches (they can then start the fermentation that produces the deadly sulfur of hydrogen.)


2nd room

Mattang is a sculpture inspired by the primitive maps of the waves and streams originally produced by the polynesian tribes of the Marshall archipel. It represents a possible organisation of the forces that move the algae shoal to the coast.

That’s all folks is a riso-print edition, that features Porky Pig, one of the most important cartoon character of the XXth century. This picture refers to the massive pork breeding industry that is present in Brittany, largely participating in the pollution of the rivers and environment.

In between both rooms of tête comes a special Oyster Bar,
Here are available 300 « huîtres creuses n°2 du Dourduff » freshly brought from the bay of Morlaix,
in Brittany.

Built with