Florence Bruyas (FR)

Digging in the earth #2: Reflection on armed conflict and those who wage it.

Creating a cavity by removing material. Florence Bruyas is interested in the soldiers of the trenches who bury themselves on the front lines. Sensitive to the conflicts that shake the world, the ghost of a great-grandfather who died in 1915 haunts her. He echoes the dark mass of bodies sent into battle.

These anonymous mourners of yesterday and today are nonetheless ‘bodies that count’. A social body that can be mobilised and malleable, used as cannon fodder. The trench shovel, an essential piece of protective equipment for the second-class soldier sent to the front line, becomes the emblematic object of the work. The shovel tells the story of the body’s engagement with the material, the trench, the mud, the cramped, constricting hole, the sometimes life-saving burrow into which you crawl. It tells the story of the carnal reality of armed conflict, which seemed to be buried beneath the terms of technological warfare and surgical strikes.

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