Screening, Talk
FLAX Project

Etienne de France in conversation with T.J. Demos at the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard

Screening of Etienne de France’s film, Looking for the Perfect Landscape followed by a conversation between Etienne de France and T.J. Demos and a Q&A at the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard in Paris, France.

Invited in 2017 by FLAX, Etienne de France collaborated with the Mohave people of the Colorado River Indian Tribes Reservation for the creation of his film and project Looking for the Perfect Landscape. The film examines the usage and representation of the territories of the Southwest through the eyes of Jamahke, a young Native American.

Jamahke, a young Mohave artist, works for the Colorado River Indian Tribe Museum in Parker, Arizona. As a skateboarder, he carries and perpetuates an important heritage in practicing the traditional “Bird Songs”. The texts of these songs are spiritual cards and describe the voyages of souls across the ancestral lands of the Mohave.

One day, Jamahke is hired by a production company to scout film locations for a period piece on the first encounters between the Mohave people and the conquistadors. Through this work, he meets diverse members of his community and travels the places and sacred sites in the reservation as well as their native lands. Transformed by the different strata of colonization of the United States, these lands continue to be threatened by the development of urbanization and the extraction of natural resources. This scouting quickly reveals the necessity of highlighting these realities.

The film premiered at the Echo Park Film Center in Los Angeles. Etienne de France was then invited by the Colorado River Indian Tribes Reservation to screen his film during their Fall Gathering and in their library and archival center.

Looking for the Perfect Landscape will be presented at the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard in the presence of the artist and T.J. Demos, art historian, critic, and theorist. They will address the themes that run through their practices: how to question the ideological construction and systems of representation of the landscape of the American Southwest, this “perfect” landscape? How to address the language that these representations constructed through the infrastructures and economic systems tied to this territory?


About the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard

The Fondation d’entreprise Ricard is carrying on the art sponsorship the Ricard Company has been engaged in for more than twenty years and has been a springboard for a whole generation of artists.

Situated in the heart of Paris, the foundation is a venue for exhibitions, creativity and encounters in the context of art in its most contemporary forms.
The Foundation organizes between 5 and 6 exhibitions every year and regularly invites external curators. It is also a place of exchange and discussion: every month the public is invited to take part in debates in a spontaneous and convivial atmosphere.

Created in 1999, the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard prize was the first one to be dedicated to an emerging artist from the French art scene. Every year a different curator is invited to organize an exhibition at the Foundation that presents a new group of artists under 40. The prize is then awarded to one of the artists, by a jury composed of art collectors, museum directors and the curators of the previous Ricard prize editions. With the award comes the purchase of a work that is donated to the Centre Pompidou to join its permanent collection. The Fondation d’entreprise Ricard additionally supports the realization of a project by the prize-winner abroad.