“La Flotte” (French, slang meaning: ‘water; drizzle’) is a site-specific installation by multimedia artist, Anthony Brazeau, opening to the public on Friday, May 20th from 6-9pm at the corner of Gratiot Avenue and Joseph Campau (next to PLAYGROUND DETROIT gallery at 2845 Gratiot Avenue). His sculptures will be on view through Summer 2022.
Discarded items from a metropolitan city- empty bottles, car parts, and broken objects- are reimagined and formed into water-harvesting vessels using resin, screws, and various binding elements to create functional sculptures. The harvested rainwater can grow flower and vegetable gardens by use of corresponding handmade jugs so produce cultivated can be gathered by whomever. The sculptures will stand tall in an empty urban field, alongside planters with fruits and vegetables in them and what is grown in the planters is available at no cost for whomever may need it.
Through collecting discarded materials found in Detroit, Anthony documents places in which he spends most of his time. Afterwards he manipulates the objects to an array of disorderly forces- disassembly, tearing, melting, and covering them in substances to bind them together to eventually create a homogenous structure that has both skeleton and skin, alluding to the human form. The ‘skin’ that stretches over these forms act as concealments, they hide or accentuate the trauma involved in their making. Ultimately, the flaws in them are left apparent and that is because the imperfections are necessary. The impurities and haphazardness are linked to the process of entropy that our bodies go through. The structures are solid, but not sturdy. They are similar to bones that heal improperly, creating a malunited fracture- something healed, but not.
“Community is the key word. Art in conjunction with community is an essential part of life, it enriches and enhances. Art without a connection to the community cannot function. My goal with this project is to grow- grow the idea, grow food, grow as an artist, grow as a person within the community, grow with the community, and grow sustainable art practices.”
As a part of exhibition programming, Brazeau will lead a public workshop to teach the practice of making these water harvesting sculptures so others may create their own to encourage sustainable food and art practices.
“I hope for this project to have a communal impact. People can visit the water harvesting sculptures, made of materials otherwise seen as city waste, but instead gather water for plants. The concept behind the sculptures is a circular act of community: inspire an idea, share the idea with others, put into action, they can teach others, and as a result, the city gets cleaner, there is more abundance to go around, and the cycle may repeat and repeat and repeat.”