Les saisons invisibles
Illustration: ©Valérie Etterlen
DOCUMENTARY . WORKERS . VESTIGES
12+ years old
Duration: 60 / 90 minutes
The face of cities depends on the direction they look. Villerupt now looks towards Luxembourg, towards the border. The heart around which it was built has emptied and its arteries send its flow over there, on the other side. The heart is to be rebuilt, from a common memory. And lost moments of the Saisons Invisibles (invisible seasons).
Hélène Gaudy is a novelist; Christina Kubisch is a composer. Inspired by the history of the town of Villerupt, on the French-Luxembourg border, and the stories of its inhabitants, they created The Invisible Seasons.
This journey tells the story of the region: the landscape shaped by the mines and the emptiness that remains today. It is an image of people, of the various successive waves of immigration; but also of the territory and of the nearby borders, which define the work today. A multiplicity of stories, moments and memories obtained thanks to the testimonies of the inhabitants, who dialogue with the written text: points of view that intersect and complement each other.
The Invisible Seasons was created as part of the In the field project, for Esch2022, European Capital of Culture.
The musical composition is in keeping with the theme of boundaries: it uses different sources of sounds found on the spot, captured beyond the usual acoustic noises: the invisible waves of Villerupt, the electromagnetic fields, the contact microphones, the hidden vibrations.
Text and music come together to create a photograph of the territory and its history. Through the seasons that punctuate the sound journey, borders follow one another: those crossed in the past, the one that separated France and Germany, the one now crossed by French people working in Luxembourg. This shows their shifting, arbitrary, but also emotional character. Living in a border town is a series of possible changes of scenery, a fragility at the same time as a wealth.
Hélène Gaudy is a novelist. After studying visual arts, she led numerous projects combining writing, image and landscape. She has published art books, books for young people and several stories, including Vues sur la Mer (Les Impressions nouvelles, 2006, second selection for the Prix Médicis), Plein Hiver (Actes Sud, 2014), and Un Monde sans Rivage (Actes Sud, 2009) which was shortlisted for the Prix Goncourt. She is a member of the Inculte collective and the editorial board of the magazine La Moitié du Fourbi.
Christina Kubisch, born in Bremen in 1948, belongs to the first generation of sound artists. Although she is best known for her sound installations and electroacoustic compositions, her practice also extends to video and visual arts. Since 2003, she has been making the ‘Electrical Walks’ series around the world, sound walks in urban spaces, where electromagnetic fields are amplified. Christina Kubisch has taught audiovisual arts in Berlin, Paris, Saarbrücken and Oxford. She has received numerous awards, including the Giga-Hertz 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award. She currently lives and works in Berlin.
With the support of Esch2022, European Capital of Culture, as well as the French Ministry of Culture, the DRAC Grand Est, the Région Grand Est, the Centre National de la Musique, the Collectivité Européenne d’Alsace, the Département Meurthe-et-Moselle, the Ville d’Esch-sur-Alzette, the Ville et Eurométropole de Strasbourg, LISER (Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research), the Musica Festival and Puzzle Thionville.
In partnership with Residhome Luxembourg and the Cottage Luxembourg.
- Text: Hélène Gaudy Music: Christina KubischSound recording: Christina Kubisch, Marc NamblardIllustration: Valérie EtterlenVoices: Matëo Granger, Mathilde Melero (French version), Eli Finberg (English version)
Voice studio: Innervision
Artistic direction: Gaëtan Gromer
Production: Les Ensembles 2.2
With sound extracts by Daniel Brachetti from the short film “Des quetsches pour l’hiver”, J.-P. Menichetti, 1974
Acknowledgements : Tom Thiel, sound engineer