Initiated as part of the inaugural Immersion: A French American Photography Commission, a program launched by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès in alliance with Aperture Foundation, Eden is the first iteration of artist Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques’s eponymous long-term project. As part of the commission, Couzinet-Jacques purchased a small, historical building in Eden, North Carolina, as a site for an immersive exploration of the ideas of property, community, and image-making. The resultant output is eclectic, incorporating Polaroids, video, traditional photographic film, found objects, historical documents, and sculptural elements—the better to articulate and grapple with the often contradictory themes of utopia and home, the inevitable gaps between representation and reality, and the work of art as a means of re-enchantment. In addition to his own visual investigations, Couzinet-Jacques invited a group of sculptors, writers, videographers, and other artists to visit Eden over the course of the year and to create work inspired by the Little Red Schoolhouse. Selections of the resulting work, including pieces from each of the participants and elements from the house itself, are interwoven as part of this ambitious building and greenhouse installation, designed in collaboration with architects Jérémie Dalin and Sylvia Bourgoin and with environmental guidance by NY Sun Works, an urban sustainability non-profit organization.
The exhibition includes additional work by Fred Cave, Thomas Hauser, Jesse Hoyle, Amelia Rina, Pat McCarthy, and Ugo Schiavi.
Coproduced with Fondation d’entreprise Hermès.
About the Hermès Foundation’s Alliance with Aperture Foundation
In 2014, the Hermès Foundation launched a program of photographers’ residencies and exchanges, exhibitions, and publications with Aperture Foundation in New York. The program marks the Hermès Foundation’s renewed commitment to intervening upstream in the creative process, with support for the production of new photographic work, and a new partnership with a distinguished, internationally acclaimed photography institution.
Aperture’s exhibitions are funded, in part, by an award from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Charina Endowment Fund, and with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.