La caverne du dragon ou l’enfouissement — Louise Hervé & Chloé Maillet
La caverne du dragon ou l’enfouissement
Louise Hervé & Chloé Maillet
Past: September 9 → October 30, 2010
The duo composed of Louise Hervé and Chloé Maillet regularly takes us on a journey to different places charged with historical meaning (the double architecture of the neo-classical Palais de Tokyo and the Museum of Modern Art’s liaison with “swords-and-sandals” films, Belleville and the life of the Saint-Simonians, Marne-la-Vallée and the films of Eric Rohmer). The continued research of the artists led them to the underground passages and Gothic Novels, hence the artwork showcased in the gallery — an archeological display cabinet, film clips, a new method of inventory in a basement, a special-edition book — are all objects meant to spark our interest in the artists’ activity of collecting and in a certain archaeology of knowledge. Identification, description, classification, are all presented in the artwork…the fragmented or missing objects seem to be the keys to a hidden treasure. Eventually, the Dragon’s Cave — an archeological site in Austria and an ancient Stirian legend — is but a formal and literary reflection of the exhibition.
Who were the ancient dwellers of the Stirian caves? This is the question that haunted me when I was a boy, as I roamed the steep hills that slope up the valley of the River Mur.
As I grew up, I never ceased to wonder. During my studies at Pernegg-an-der-Mur high school, I felt strongly attracted to geology and history. An old teacher whom I admired much, Mr W. F. N., gave us once a lecture on prehistory. “Bronze objects are to be found underneath the earth”, he stated. I’ll never forget these words.
Many years later, I became an archaeologist. I came back to the very place where I grew up, and that is where I made my first find, on the hills that slope up the river Mur. This discovery was to be of great importance for stirian archaeology: I found the bronze hoard of Mixnitz that had crossed the ages buried under the soil of the Dragon’s Cave.
I realize today that the first clue that lead me to understand the mysterious past of Mixnitz caverns was given to me by an old bearded man who drove every Saturday the little rack and pinion train up the steep hills that slope up the valley of the river Mur. He told old stories to the young boy that I was. His tales were like the sparks that light the fire, he was the one who sparked off my vocation.