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Festival diep~haven 2018

Terra Firma takes as its starting point the shifting relationship between the human and the land and its vegetation (the ‘vegetale’), destabilising any assumptions that the earth that we stand on is inanimate or neutral ground.
The festival investigates our expanded cross-Channel region of Normandy and East Sussex through the interventions of the human hand on the landscape, focusing on the garden, but also considering agricultural projects and other ‘development’ of natural resources. It explores the tensions that are created between human designs – the imposition of systems, technologies and philosophies onto nature – and the autonomous behaviours and intelligence that reside in the natural and, more specifically, the botanical world. It draws attention to the naivety of our own supposed mastery of nature, whilst focusing on the lessons that can be learnt from a more conciliatory approach – in re-thinking ourselves as the student and developing projects in partnership with our surrounds.
Despite the local focus and site-responsive nature of the festival commissions, there is much to connect the programme with more universal questions about how we live, which consistently arise through this return to the examination of our relationship to the natural environment.
Key to the thinking behind this edition of the festival and the wider diep~haven project, is an interest in interdisciplinary approaches and a desire to commission and exhibit works that move beyond the purely representational, that are active, performative and urgent in their consideration of our subject: the gestures that we make in the landscape, and an understanding of nature itself as a series of gestures.

With: Sophie Agnel, Gabriela Albergaria, Matthew Beach, Mark Brown, Mathieu Douzenel, Sarah Duffy, Azadeh Fatehrad, Dominique Ghesquière, Freya Gabie, Anna Gaïotti, Leonora Hamill, Antoine Hummel, Gertrude Jekyll, Essi Kausalainen, Perrine Lievens, Micheline Lelièvre, Alice Schÿler Mallet, Stéphanie Nava, John Newling, Christian Prigent, Aurélie Sement, Nathalie Quintane, Agathe Shneider, Madeline Grammatico, Jodeph Baudart, Wu Ting Chia, Clémence Duboutier