Marguerite Humeau

Title

The Dancer V, A marine mammal invoking higher spirits

Year

2020

Location

Beach zone at
Wenduinse Steenweg 15
8370 Blankenberge

The Dancer V, A marine mammal invoking higher spirits

Because of her interest in ecosystems, Marguerite Humeau regularly talks with zoologists, biologists and cognitive experts. Together with them she formulates fictitious hypotheses from which her artworks then germinate. One such speculative theory, for example, is that global warming could cause animals to develop spiritual behaviour. This stimulating proposition led to a series of sculptures in which Humeau tries to imagine this spiritual behaviour.

One of the sculptures from this series is The Dancer V, A marine mammal invoking higher spirits, a futuristic sea mammal engaging in a ritual dance to the moon. Humeau sketches such a future full of amorphous creatures: hybrids of human beings and animals that couple remnants of a lost culture with a survival strategy for the future. Ultimately, the sculpture will be installed on the new breakwater in Blankenberge, which is being created in order to prevent the silting-up of the port.

The sculpture fits in seamlessly with local history. Near the Belgian coastline archaeologists have found flints, bone material, human remains and fossils that attest to the prehistoric, paradisiacal and vast plain of ´Doggerland´, where man, fauna and flora found a home. This plain existed up to around 8000 years ago, when a submarine landslide caused an enormous tsunami. The whole area ended up submerged in water, giving rise to the current North Sea. Like her other sculptures, The Dancer V unites present, past and future, but it also points to a tipping point. Where for ´Doggerland´ the submarine landslide was a catalyst, we are now confronted with the consequences of climate change. This will change the landscape around us just as radically. Humeau asks us to imagine the world past this point. Well-known animal species and people must make room for a wealth of new, fascinating beings and ecosystems.

Location

Beach zone at
Wenduinse Steenweg 15
8370 Blankenberge
Blankenberge

Close by: 
- Coastal tram stop Wenduine Harendijke

- Bicycle network 
junction 16

- Walking network
junction 44

FR, °1986

The work of Marguerite Humeau often starts from research by scientists or experts. This results in mysterious sculptures based on scientific propositions. Exhibitions (selection): 2021 Lafayette Anticipations, Paris (solo); 2021 Toronto Biennial of Art; 2019 Nominée Prix Marcel Duchamp at Centre Pompidou, Paris; 2019 C L E A R I N G, Brussels (solo); 2018 New Museum, New York (solo); 2017 Tate Britain, London (solo); 2016 Palais de Tokyo, Paris (solo).