À la recherche des forêts qui épètent l’écho de l’Acadie / Seeking the Woods that Echo Acadie
is a representation of the relationship between Acadie, as a physical place on the east coast of Canada, and the pastoral myth that resonates within Acadie’s history and name.
The term Arcadia was coined in the work The Eclogues written by Greek poet Virgil, between roughly 44 and 38 BC. This ancient work of poetry later inspired pastoral poetry of the romantic era, and could be considered to have inspired the 16th century Italian explorer Giovanni Da Verazzano to name his discovery of the east coast of Virginia, Arcadia.
In the 17th century when Samuel de Champlain reached the shores of the Atlantic East Coast he adapted the name Arcadia to its current orthography – Acadia or in french Acadie.
Described as a utopian, idyllic, unspoiled and fruitful wilderness, Arcadia is linked to primordial peace, harmony, stability and prosperity. A place where peace and harmony prevail. Where the land produces all that is needed, so that there is much time for the development of culture, music and shared feasts. Where a white flag of neutrality is flown.
A reoccurring device in the pastoral literary mode is the echo. The echo is used as a metaphor of reciprocity. It evokes a sense of relatedness between man and non-man; the transcendental relation between civilization and nature. An echo is located somewhere in the middle ground, in-between, that space where things are tangibly lost but continually articulated.
Un Acadien errant dessus une mer de brume / Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog
Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog / Un Acadien errant dessus une mer de brume presents a constellation of relationships between identity and land, expulsion and settlement, colonization and genocide. The flag flutters in bursts of wind blown energy animating the border or horizon. The fog obscures the horizon, blurring the future and embodying the intangibility of utopia. The sound of traditional Acadian foot percussion persists alongside the sound of the ocean waves upon the shore.