Floryan Varennes

Editor : Est-Nord-Est, résidence d'artistes
Location : Saint-Jean-Port-Joli
Year : 2023
Language : French / English
Author : Edith Brunette

Artist and author

Floryan Varennes
Floryan Varenne chose to approach his residency at Est-Nord-Est with a desire to pause. Taking advantage of the freedom that the centre offers residents, he wanted to reflect on his ten years of practice in order to envisage the coming years. It was, he said, the first time that a residency allowed him to take a break from the tumult of production, a privilege he greatly appreciated.  

On a wall of his studio was a vast collage of images and articles cut out from magazines, words in capital letters, and dried wild plants; all of these elements were part of a mapping exercise that he was preparing. Plants and herbalism are an important part of his work. They are inscribed within his sustained research on the history of margins and the margins of history, and in his desire to tend to the wounds of the present, to care for it. With the perspective gained during his stay by the river, he realized that the different parts of his practice are converging toward the subjects of the body and resistance, and their traces in our imaginations. The body, obstructed or resistant, appears hollowed out in his sculptures that could be called ortho-prostheses. In the terms of Paul B. Préciado, one of Varennes’s favourite authors, one could also speak of somatheques, technological extensions of the body. In these objects, made with materials such as glass, plexiglass, and leather, Varennes integrates elements borrowed from the past (armour, stretchers) to propose forms that evoke at once the Middle Ages, the techno-futurism of science fiction, and the world of medicine. By inscribing these objects in a timeline that traverses the past and the future, and by appropriating fragments of practices gravitating around both pain and regeneration, he evokes, he says, a history of social relations with violence.