Anne de Carbuccia. The art of nature and the natur...

Anne de Carbuccia. The art of nature and the nature of art

From an early age, the French-American environmental artist Anne de Carbuccia, creator of the One Planet, One future, project has always sought and found art in nature and the nature of art, trying to combine Art and Science without too many sensationalism and alarmism. When we think of Ecology, we usually refer to all those environmental measures that are necessary, because they are useful to man, such as reducing pollution and safeguarding endangered animal and plant species. In fact, these proposals are only a device to the contemporary, industrial and materialist reality. The anthropocentric conception of the world, which sees the human being as the ruler of the planet, continues to fuel a crisis, before being economic, philosophical and existential. This is why it would be more appropriate to speak of “Deep Ecology”: we no longer speak of small changes from the human point of view, but of a real cultural revolution, which marks the transition from an anthropocentric to an eco-centric perspective. However, a speech of this type makes the Earth a pagan deity, the goddess Gaia to whom even man must be sacrificed, seen as a virus to be eradicated, when he should be in communion with Nature, to put it in the Franciscan way.

In this sense, Anne de Carbuccia does not seem (hopefully) to go in the environmentalist-ecologist direction of a materialist and reductionist mold, aware of the fact that alongside an environmental ecology, there is therefore a need for that human ecology, made up of respect for the person, so we are the guardians of Nature, not the absolute masters. The hope is that we do not approach ecology as if it were a religion, and that we talk about sustainable development for everyone, not just for those who can afford it, perhaps listening to other authoritative voices from the scientific world, less apocalyptic and decidedly outside. from the choir. Art would also benefit from it. The Franco-American artist tells stories halfway between contemplation of the beauty of Nature and sinister visions that loom over this pristine beauty as demonstrated by the TimeShrine project, the Paintings series is the result of a collective of artists who unite the works of Anne’s TimeShrine art writing graffiti, creating unique pieces of contemporary art with great impact.

Anne has been traveling around the world for several years documenting the evolution of the planet and the impact of human intervention on the environment. For the 75th Venice International Film Festival, she presented the documentary One Ocean, received with moderate interest two years ago and now translated into four languages. A hint of symbolism permeates the artistic production of Anne de Carbuccia who seems to chase the glimmers of a splendor to be preserved but which still exists, making photography an instrument of testimony to the self-destruction of an entire planet, where however Man cannot remain isolated as an integral part of that system.

Annalina Grasso: Environmentalist art seems to be very fashionable and ridden even by those who actually have little sensitivity and knowledge about purely scientific issues. How many of these ride the wave in a smart way and how many are in good faith in your opinion?
Anne de Carbuccia: There is a lot of both, it’s normal. Art is a field which in part mirrors our societies. Right now, everywhere, there is just as much of an attempt in all fields for “green washing” than there is a deep desire to change our approach to our environment.  They will probably be filtered out with time or even better the green washers will really actually convert to a more modern and practical perspective. Hopefully instead of communicating about it they will start giving the example through their own personal actions and activities. Having a strong sense of factual universal knowledge is key for the Future.  There is extraordinary creative potential in new alliances between the United Science and the Arts.

When and why did you start to be passionate about art?
I was brought up with a lot of art and a lot of nature, so I always saw the nature in the art and the art in the nature. They were two things I knew and loved and have been part of me since I was a child. When I started grasping the importance of the environmental and social crisis it was only natural for me to turn to Art to give it all a voice.

What is Nature for you?
Nature is also Us.

Your short film One Ocean is presented at the 75th Venice International Film Festival. What do you hope to have conveyed to the viewer?
I try to convey an easy and positive sense of awareness, to show that we are part of something bigger than just us.  And more than anything I want to give a better sense of how important the choices we make today are, especially as individuals.  It was interesting that One Ocean was greeted with subdued interest two years ago and today it’s thriving, and translated in four languages. The film didn’t change but the public did, that gives me hope.

You are French-American, do you notice the particular differences between the way of conceiving and treating art between the States and Europe?
With globalization, the approaches have blended a lot and appear more universal. Everything has become more fluid and less distinctive between the States and Europe. I find the work more defined in other continents such as Africa and South America.  There is some deeper content being put out there on both sides of the Ocean but it’s less in the limelight. There is a recurring need for a faster pace, immersive experiences and visuals that work better with social media or statements that have an immediate impact. A lot of the Art is there to please you.

Which technique do you prefer to give a shape, a sense, a meaning to what you have seen?
I started with creating installations in Nature that I then photographed, it made sense with our times.  One hundred years ago I would have probably painted them. The work was all about our planet, what we had, what we were loosing, what we had already lost. Our choices.  I traveled all over, learned so much and met incredible people. Saw the good and the bad. I am currently finishing a feature documentary about that story. Film is a powerful tool. For over a year now I have started moving the art to the streets, both with murals and installations. I feel that now is a time to share art in very public displays because of our change in lifestyles and approach to private and public spaces.  I started using words in my creations. Like mantras. To me cities are now the most important point of impact both to help save our planet the way we know it and bring solace to its inhabitants. I see museums extending to the streets. During the first COVID lockdown I focused a lot on love and soft power. This will probably be a seed to my new work. I have just started working on more quiet and contemplative works that range from sculpture to collage and Led light. I think I will be moving soon into a zone of reflection where I will be creating from a single location, I am not sure if it’s a growing need to withdraw and meditate while our societies enter stronger world winds.

The goal of your explorations is to achieve something. Touching its limits or in a certain sense returning to the origin of art, of Life, of the essential?
Yes, for the last ten years, it’s been a lot about art with a purpose for me. Curiously I felt a sense of liberation in giving the work a goal. It freed me of a lot of my anxieties as a human.  Having studied Anthropology helped. Having a sense of the origin, of how it all started, why it all started.  To be able to start over, which is the case of our societies today, it’s helpful to know about your roots, your origins. During the last few years. I tried to focus on what was most essential. I think that a lot in the genesis of art is linked to purpose.

Don’t you think that we must be careful not to make ecology become a religion, an ideology, given that there are no univocal positions, which contemplates only itself, leaving Man out of this project?
It’s a risk, actually more and more activists are shifting towards that direction. They feel that they are not being heard and things are not moving fast enough. There is a stronger sense of injustice in the younger generations when it comes to Ecocide. I think a lot of the younger artists will be part of that movement.  We never had to question our future like they have to. Sometimes you need to go a little extreme to carry on the shift that is needed. I was criticized during COVID for not pointing out how much better the planet was doing without all our constant activities. It’s true that you could observe a lot of places regenerating. But that is a consequence and not a solution. It has never really been about the planet. Planet is an extraordinary living being and it will make it. Under what form is another question. The real issue, at stake, at least for our species is whether WE will make it or who will make it. Weather we like it or not we all have an Anthropomorphic point of view. My work is more about shifting our perspective from placing ourselves on the top of a pyramid to being part of a circle.

What work are you most proud of?
Each one of my creations are a part of me and I care for them deeply. Certainly the fact that they allowed me to also have a voice in the Educational system is something that I am very proud of.  My educational project is run through my 501 (c) 3 public Foundation and works with the next generation from age 5 to 25 and with a great diversity of projects across the planet. Now with the challenges of the Pandemic we are creating video content for on line classes.

In your opinion, which of your works is the one that best represents the fact that the Universe is an indivisible and harmonious whole in spite of a perfect machine where the components work perfectly together?
I think my image Birth would best describe the immediacy of this concept. A lot of the work I create is based on that idea and on Interconnectivity

Any upcoming commitments?
I am in the midst of editing my feature documentary One Planet One Future which should be coming out in 2021 – I will also be putting up for public display some of my mirrored mantra words in different cities  – An exhibition in Palermo, Italy in summer 2021 should be confirmed if the pandemic situation gets better. Fingers crossed!


Portrait of Anne de Carbuccia

Anne de Carbuccia GARDENERS OF EDEN 1 CHANG RAI, THAILAND, FEBRUARY 2015 timeshrineAnne de Carbuccia, Gardeners of Eden 1, Chang Rai, Thailand, February 2015, timeshrine

Anne de Carbuccia, Key Hole II, Antarctica, 2014

Anne de Carbuccia, Liwa, Dusk Rub’al Khali, Middle East, May 2014, timeshrine

Anne de Carbuccia, Whaling station, South Georgia, February 2014

Anne de Carbuccia, Birth, from the video One Ocean, 2018

Anne de Carbuccia, Carnet Voyage, Sacred Lake II, 2015

Anne de Carbuccia, Areang, 2019

Anne de Carbuccia, Pangolin, Vietnam, 2015

Anne de Carbuccia, Mustang Journey, Upper Mustang, 2015


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