Mauvaises graines


Julie Gaubert

Artist selected as part of the open call

2541 En Féronstrée

Abandoned plants on the edges of sidewalks and roads, accompanied by waste and exhaust pipes: nettles implacably resist. More than just resisting, they clean up the soil. Present in all seasons as if they were outside of time. Lively and robust, they adapt, warriors of hostile times. Mauvaises graines extracts these plants called weeds to cultivate them, take care of them, understand their importance. Are they still wild? Metaphor of social struggles, can we cultivate our struggles?

Behind the window, Mauvaises graines gives interest, attention to these “weeds”. They are exhibited, fantasized, admired. Disrupting their status as weeds, they take their place as stars, influencing their symbolic, social and therefore political value. Yet locked up, in gestation, are they waiting to break the window? Or is it a culture, apparently illegal, of hopes of resistance?

“Resistance, as we can see, does not always take the form of a frontal struggle. There are discrete, subtle micro-resistances, which rely on strategies of infiltration or cracking, capable of responding to what Foucault calls a “microphysics of power”[1]. Julie Gaubert’s Mauvaises graines hence certainly have a poetic dimension, but they are also the expression of a biopolitics of marginal beings who claim their independence. The permaculture of wild grasses collected in the “third landscapes” of Roubaix, which form the image of all subordinate populations, act of a capacity to self-organize collectively, in a self-managed way, outside of any governmentality.”

[1] He addresses this notion in Surveiller et Punir (Paris, Gallimard, 1975).

Julie Gaubert