Roots from the Sky ⵣ

by Cedric Bregnard

Opening on Saturday 18th March 2.30pm-5.30pm

Centre d’Art, Monday, three o’clock in the afternoon.

About fifteen people are working on the photograph of the Auroville banyan tree which is spread out over seven meters in front of the large picture window.

Some are sitting on the floor, some standing, others are mounted on chairs.

The Roots from the Sky ⵣ performance started only in the morning and the result is already striking.

On the huge image printed in very light shades of gray, the speakers redraw the volumes, from black to light, making the tree reappear barely perceptible.

The artist who created the performance, Cedric Bregnard, provided them with precious calligraphy brushes that allow them to vary the line to interpret the thickest shadows of the trunks to the finest details, such as the veins of the leaves.

To create the monumental composition, Cedric took numerous shots of this tree, as vast as a forest, in the early morning when the light was still hazy. 

It is the juxtaposition of these shots that allowed him to recreate the image of the tree of more than thirty meters in span that serves as a support for the performance.

He then enlarged elements such as some of the trunks and hung them in the gallery, bringing them down from the ceiling like the pillars of a temple.

Several schools will take these photographs to do the performance alongside the gallery’s in their own facilities with their students. 

Once completed they will join the gallery for the opening of the exhibition.

As the days go by, the drawers follow one another and little by little connect the trunks, the branches and the roots.  Together, each with his own stroke, impetuous or restrained, strong or light, they work to give the great banyan a new dimension. Some stay a few minutes, others forget the hours, but for all the experience is pure happiness. They admit to entering a kind of trance, spellbound by the movement of the hand. 

It is a choral experience where Cedric intervenes in the background, sometimes giving advice or encouragement.

After having given birth to forty-four performances, for him the emotion is always new.

He still remembers the first one, during which a total art form was spontaneously born. Dancers, poets, musicians had intervened.

At Centre d’Art, the magic has already worked. Several musicians came to improvise small concerts, and the sounds of their instruments seemed like the breath of the tree itself.

It is a new form of art, intrinsically linked to life, that Cedric Bregnard brings to Auroville today. An art that has definitely left the studio, that addresses each of us to put us back in touch with our creative potential. A regenerative and curative art, since through the form of the tree it is our humanity that is recomposed.

Dominique Jacques for Centre d’Art

The collective art piece is exhibited after a week of participatory performance.