Eternal Torch

    by Florence Parot

    ‘Eternal Torch’ is a workshop that questions the statute of an image, and engages our responsibility in POSTING things. The individual contribution engaging the responsibility of an entire group of people (students of the Dirty Art Department) who are audience at the same time.

    Every day one of the students is publishing one image, as a long trail of contributions. It’s a way to start virtually communicating with our revolts, our contradictions and in a sense with political refugees. This daily practise should permit to jump mentally in the Calais’s jungle (or any jungles). This one contribution a day is partly inspired by the project “One sculpture a day keeps the doctor away” of David de Tscharner. It is noteworthy that the project title refers to the therapeutic potential of the daily artistic practice. Each artwork thus presented on the ‘Eternal Flame’ blog is left free to our interpretation, without any description, that would guide our judgments but should refer to the migrant’s crisis, the ‘dis-location’ feeling.
    The title also directly refers to Thomas Hirschhorn’s installation shown in Palais de Tokyo in Paris in 2014. Thomas Hirschhorn considers ‘Flamme Eternelle’ as his own temporary studio, like a welcome centre for intellectuals who are left free to consider their intervention or their mere presence outside of any obligation towards the institution to engage in ‘cultural moderation’.
    The ‘Eternal Torch’ is one of the exercises proposed in the ‘Jungle Bill’ Space, as an individual reaction for a collective action and an eventual big gesture. It’s training. This space should have a social and political dimension, destined to involve students in the global migrant crisis and making a grand ‘GESTE’ at the end of the workshop.
    The blog and the ‘Jungle Bill’ space should become an open stage for uprisings, a mental and physical place to comment the world, to debate together about the role of arts in political protest.
    Can political art be good art? Can good art be political? How effective is politicized art and the artists who make it? What exactly does art do in demonstration of political protest? These are some of the questions discussed in the workshop.
    Art and artistic expression serve many functions in political protest, some of them aimed at producing knowledge and solidarity within the group of protesters and others as a means of communicating to those outside what the protest is all about. How you can translate your revolts according to this blog? It’s not about illustrating the situation, it’s how to confront the situation, how to stand in front of the global migrant crisis including all refugees, all dis-located feelings. We are not journalists. It’s not about reporting or planning an iconography, and more about suspending a space and carrying indeed a mirror, reflecting all our hypocrisies.