Axis Mundi

Axis Mundi
Nicolas Fenouillat, 2012
Dimensions: hauteur 4m50


Axis Mundi, cinq mats plantés dans le sol espacés d’une même longueur, formant une ligne droite d’est en ouest et traversent l’axe du méridien de Paris.
Une baguette de batterie est sculptée au bout de chaque tronc d’arbre.
Les baguettes érigées forment l’Axis Mundi, axe qui soutient la voûte céleste et assure la liaison avec la terre.
L’île de la Pépinière aux hortillonnages d’Amiens devient le centre du monde et/ou la connexion entre le Ciel et la Terre.


Axis Mundi, is seven masts planted in the ground, the masts are equally spaced out from each other, and they form a line. The tip of every mast is sculpted in the shape of a drum stick. The line that these masts form empathises with the areas in which they are placed.
I evoke here the concept “La Sympathie” (empathy) to which Michel Foucault attributed a determining role in western thought. “La Sympathie” arouses the movement of things in the world and unites the most distant ones, it is mobility in itself: it attracts what is heavy towards the heaviness of the ground, and what is light towards weightless ether;
it places its roots towards water, and it makes the big yellow sunflower turn with the curve of the sun. “Of a height going from 3 to 4,50 meters, the masts are positioned vertically, at eye level from the riverbank, giving them the status of a reference point in the atmosphere. These masts are sculpted at different heights in order to equalize the irregularities of the ground.
Axis Mundi is installed on “pépinière” island thus proposing the possibility of discovering new perspectives and points of view. In the end, the work offers to the spectator, an individual experience, but also a collective one seeing that it is installed in a public place. What I like here is the dialogues that the sculptures establish among themselves, with their environment and with the spectator’s body movement.
These masts, like the roots of trees coming out of the ground, join the verticality of the ascent. The root loses its tip where a drum stick appears stretching towards the light.
The raised masts form Axis Mundi, that is, an axis that supports the celestial sphere thus connecting it to earth. “Pépinière” island situated on the meridian axis of Paris, between Dunkirk and Perpignan becomes the center of the world and/or the connection between earth and sky.

Where ? Hortillonnages d'Amiens, 2012