Art Orienté objet

03/03/03 / 2003 / 3'50"



An artistic action in order to ritualize a marginal social reality. Art Orienté objet (Paris)

Some situations are hardly tolerated by the Western world, which thus prove its own limits. We happen to be in one of these situations : once a « normal » couple in regard of the criteria of Western society, ours transformed into an unfamiliar and, according to its law, impossible status, the polyandry. Since three years, we built a stable family relationship constituted by a woman and two men. Now none social and juridical structure admits this situation, nor this of polygamy, although such « problematic » situations like homosexual couples start getting recognition by the french law (cf the PACS).

Why an attempt to make this situation legal ?

Apart from ideological or ethical reasons there are material reasons related to the property’s laws or the social status : thus a child whose mother would accidentally die in a polyandric couple would eventually by excluded from its former family ; if its biological father happens to die, the couple will have to commit a long and difficult adoption procedure ; if its non-biological father dies, he would not be considered as legal heir…

The foreign situation

Considering the long list of prohibitions attached to such realities in the laws of all sorts of countries, rooted into judaic-christian ethics, we tried to scan the anthropological antecedents. Thus polyandry is a current and legal custom in Tibet, where a woman marries a man and his brothers, but it also can be seen in India (the Kanets, the Bushaharas, the Thakkars, the Megs, the Kotas, etc.), in Africa (in the middle of Nigeria, among the Bashileles in Kasaï and among the Mangos in Gabon), and in South America (the Chocoes indians of Panama)… Nevertheless the tribal situation is hardly tolerated and it corresponds rarely to a legally and administratively recognized reality.

Numerous attempts have been made in France to change the law regarding the marital regime from immigrated polygamic couples, none of these attempts has succeeded in transforming into a case-law, because polygamy is considered as the extension of a religious trend, minoritary in France : Islam. Still exist some overseas french territories where it holds the majority and therefore is legally authorized : Mayotte and Wallis and Futuna.

Why considering this action as an artistic experiment ?

In the way we consider it, art can’t be cut from our existence and from experiments which feed it ; besides it works as a revealer of individual awareness, and therefore it bears a specific duty, almost mantic, this of snatching the spiritual freedom from the both bodily and social carcan.

Polyandry always led to unhappy ends in judaic-christian tradition, from Tristan and Isolde to Jules et Jim from Truffaut… We would like to enlarge the cultural field in order to detragedize a reality which in other traditions does not necessary lead to a deadly end. We would like to create a space of possibility, a sort of utopia, by trying to make legal a polyandric wedding contracted in Wallis and Futuna ; so doing, we will argue that, man and woman being equal in front of the french law, the polyandric wedding should be recognized in the same extent as the polygamic one. Since we know such trial can take lots of time, and can also confront the lack of understanding of the jurists, we would like to produce the ritual and the ceremonial objects of our « Western » polyandric wedding. We will create an artistical environment of ceremony, which in a way would validate the wedding in the context of the exhibition. The exhibition space would change status to become a non-juridic public space, a space of possibility and freedom able to welcome the social utopia of an outlaw wedding. After the ceremony which would take place in the very space of the exhibition, with the participation of an officiant invited for this special ceremony, the ritual objects and the personal souvenirs created for this project will remain enigmatically on site.


Art Orienté objet,

Art Orienté objet (marion laval-jeantet & Benoit Mangin), founded in 1991 in Paris.

Marion Laval-Jeantet and Benoît Mangin came together in 1991 to form Art Orienté objet. In a collaboration that resembles that between a playwright and a stage director who are in constant dialogue (we can see them as artist and ‘artistic-output-director"), they are fascinated by the sciences of life in general and of behavior in particular—from ethology to trans-cultural psychiatry. During the last ten years, they have put forth several poetic and surprising projects that have resulted from their experimentations and that reveal our behaviors as we face existence and the environment. Their works take on various aesthetic forms (installations, objects, videos, and/or photographs) in which we find a familiar animal presence and a staging of their own existence.



who is the head of the collective "bordercartograph" sent us a text to describe their activities:

In « bordercartograph » mailing list there are artists, students, researchers, activists. Many of us don't have private internet use. It is not a set group, except for a few founders. Ever since February 2000 people have joined or left, as happens in life. These bordercartographs come from several continents, and the Europeans come from Western or Eastern countries.
How did this gathering become a reality? Whom did I need to meet? why? The answer is autobiographical. At a moment in my life linked to my professional life, a turning point happened. I needed an open world to live in. Our Western world seemed to be getting more and more narrow. I met the right people and constructed a relationship with them through strong common interests and personal feelings. I could call it a practice of displacement. I am for ever taking a trip here in Paris, thanks to people from all over the world, developing a deep exchange with them, in life and on line. The internet is a means to communicate, among many others. It's fascinating, but it's not self-sufficient.
The language we use is French, at times some Italian, some Spanish,some English. Our french is not pure French, because only few of us are of French origin .The others are from Romania, Albania, Italy, Lebanon, Tunisia, Mauritania, Senegal, Cameroon, Venezuela, Argentina, etc. Participants from Africa have a perfect mastery of French. Ourselves from Eastern Europe know it much less.
We all travel among languages, we know several languages, we circulate freely from one to another. If you know a little bit of French, don't hesitate to enter the « bordercartograph » discussion list:
marion baruch