Over the past several years, Verticale has selected artwork from practices strongly based in the reality of the territory and the organism. The works presented have taken multiple forms: sculpture and installation, graphic infiltration, sound walks, action art. Above all connected by a formal approach, these projects have largely involved a critical and/or poetic exploration of territory.
This year, Verticale invites artists to cast an oblique eye on Laval’s natural, social, and/or political landscape, paying particularly attention to rite and ritual as vectors
of community building and distinctiveness, social marginalization, and the
expression of self-sufficiency.
From this attention to landscape, Verticale sees two distinct archetypal and metaphoric
figures emerge, each one maintaining an underlying relationship with territory via a set of ritual practices: the witch and the gangster.
Connected to the earth through a spiritual lineage, witches transgress norms and survive thanks to the strength drawn from a supernatural source. Rebellious and indifferent to materialist ideas, the witch engages and entertains the art of ritual to fulfil the goals of the cult, so as to rethink the structures of knowledge and power.
Attached to territory through exploitation, gangsters infiltrate society and
institutions. They prosper illicitly and with impunity to the detriment of the system, which fears yet often supports them in order to prevent their threats from destroying it from the inside. Organized and deviant, the gangster acts in concerted fashion and carries out planned and rationalized acts to maintain dominant power.