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 it’s 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. A place 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 is a reflection on the relationships between Acadian identity, land, metaphors and the stories that drive these links. This video is in conversation with the 1818 German romantic painting Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog by Caspar David Friedrich and replacing the Rückenfigur with a handmade white flag, a type used by many Acadians during the 100 years preceding the expulsion. The white flag was and remains a symbol of neutrality or resistance, a symbol of individual humility animated by pride or national identity. Flags are also travellers and travel with people who identify with them or as borders change. The flag flutters in the energetic wind and blows on the shore of Prince Edward Island. The fog blocks the horizon obscuring the future and embodying the intangible myth of utopia. Just as the character of Evangeline embodies the wandering Acadian in search of her home, her hidden or lost horizon, this work focuses on a similar theme.