Voyage vers Hyperborée
Guillaume Barth (FR)
Voyage vers Hyperborée

Installation, film 16 mm projeté, 10 min, sculpture en ambre et frêne, 150 cm x 21 cm de diamètre, photographie argentique, 120 cm x 120 cm

The fascination with the North is evident in the mythologies that suffuse most civilisations.
For Plato, the North was the land of elevated souls, but also of strength and light.
In a kind of ritual, the god Apollo travelled regularly to this realm of Hyperborea in a chariot drawn by swans in order to regenerate his prophetic powers.
The northernmost point is at the limit of the horizon, where land and sky meet in harmony to form this mythical paradise.

“Let us look each other in the face. We are Hyperboreans – we know well enough how remote our place is. ‘Neither by land nor by water will you find the road to the Hyperboreans’: even Pindar, in his day, knew that much about us. Beyond the North, beyond the ice, beyond death – our life, our happiness… We have discovered that happiness; we know the way; we got our knowledge of it from thousands of years in the labyrinth. Who else has found it?”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist, 1888.

The holy geography and the evocative power of the cardinal point that is the North Pole, the Hyperborean myth, nourish this artistic project which sets out to give formal expression to an imaginary exploration of this space.
As a result of the upheavals brought about by our civilisation, might this space which seems so distant from our own become more familiar?
Voyage vers Hyperborée relates a will to transcendence in a world that has turned away from any primordial essence.

The crew over the Atlantic:

  • Isabelle Stachtchenko, lighting camerawoman
  • Marianne Polska, assistant camerawoman
  • Hugo Coderre, steadicam operator
  • Joël Poisson, grip
  • Lucile Mercier for help with grading
  • Yasmine Amor for her commitment and her kindness without which the shoot in Quebec would not have been possible.

A big thanks to Diane and Bertrand for their precious help on the shoot. Thanks also to Mélissa, Julien, Maneck, Olivia and the big Lafrance family in Montreal.
Thanks to composer and old friend Thibault Bru, the team at Le Fresnoy and Valérie Jouve.

Guillaume Barth
Guillaume Barth France
Promotion Jonas Mekas

Guillaume Barth was born in Colmar in 1985 à Colmar. He lives in Strasbourg and works in a number of different countries. He studied art at the Haute École des Arts du Rhin, Strasbourg, and graduated in 2012 cum laude. He won the Talents Contemporains prize of the Fondation François Schneider en 2019, the prize of the Fondation Bullukian in 2017 and the Prix Théophile Schuler in 2015. He took part in the 61st Salon de Montrouge in 2016 and was invited to the performance evening for the Jeune Création exhibition at the Beaux-Arts de Paris in 2018.
His works have been shown in several European countries but also in Iran and Canada. From the salt desert of Bolivia to the reindeer peoples of Mongolia, from Quebec to Senegal or Iran, Barth is following a very unusual trajectory at odds with any idea of the “typical” young artistic career. His projects are interspersed with mystic moments that are closer to anthropology than to artistic practice. These moments which the artist keeps secret inform an approach that looks happily towards the spiritual side of things, while being embodied in the simple materials, which include a dimension of fragility.

    • Grand Est Le Grand Est est une région administrative française résultant de la fusion des anciennes régions Alsace, Champagne-Ardenne et Lorraine.
    • Le Fresnoy - Studio national des arts contemporains, Tourcoing Le Fresnoy - Studio national des arts contemporains est né de la volonté du ministère de la Culture et de la Communication d’implanter dans le nord de la France, un établissement supérieur d’enseignement artistique d’un type nouveau, pôle d’excellence d’envergure nationale et internationale, dont les références furent exprimées par quelques formules telles que « un IRCAM des arts plastiques » ou encore « une villa Médicis high-tech ».

Sa pédagogie, principalement fondée sur la production d’œuvres de toute sorte dont le point commun est l’intégration de techniques audiovisuelles professionnelles, en fait un lieu de production, d’expérimentation et de diffusion totalement inédit.