La Corvette

Filipe Braga © Fundação de Serralves, Porto

In 2008, after 20 years of living and working in New York and a unique experience of collaboartive artist loft living at the Matzoh Factory with choreographer Jennifer Monson, I settled in France, as I still continued to develop projects in New York. In 2017, in collaboration with the composer Sébastien Roux, we began building La Corvette, largely inspired by the Matzoh Factory project. We  set to work building a music studio in the barn and a dance studio in the garden, with the help from our friend and frequent collaborator, the designer and artist from Beaune Olivier Vadrot.

 

The “lieu-dit”- La corvée.

A “lieu-dit” is a small area of land to which is associated a proper name which can be a toponymic appellative. In our case it is a vineyard next to our home called La corvée. A lieu-dit represents knowledge, stories, even practices, preserved by inhabitants and their predecessors. We would have liked to save this intact nomenclature, “La corvée”, but  the idea of ​​baptizing our dream place after a custom of forced labor so loaded with negative associations was impossible. On the other hand, the concept of a task in the Judsonian sense of task as a score or an instigating structure for moving made us think of a sweeter simpler diminutive: "...  why not a small task, a little task". Hence, La Corvette (a movement instigator, not a car) –  a ship, not of war, but of practices, and dreams.

 

The Corvette, a vessel for our practices.

The Corvette allows us to have a place for the development of our practices and our artistic research, where we live, in a rural environment in Bourgogne Franche-Comté. We want to create a meeting place between artists, neighbors, and the landscape that hosts them. We want La Corvette to allow us to observe how working in a rural environment affects the way we create and think about the world around us. Also to observe how our artistic work can affect this context. The Corvette is a place where artists can work differently, whether alone or with others, a situation where everyone can work without having to prove anything, while exploring new methods of research and creation, surrounded by vineyards, pastures and forests. The Corvette works for the development of dynamic models and for a sustainable artistic practice. The Corvette is built from scratch, quite simply of wood, and measures 8m x 13m. The workshop is bordered by large bay windows and faces an orchard and a splendid view of the countryside. It is a modest place but the ideas for making use of it are enthusiastic.