Anne-Laure Franchette, ζιζάνια, New Philadelphia & Little Manchester, 2018, Yellow Brick, Athens

to tell you the truth

2019. Weaving, plastic, electric wire, industrial thread

“The romanticism of myths of return, thinking about where we came from, connects us with our current idea of what nature is, a space of anti-modernity. Urban citizens visit the countryside or nature parks to ‘resource’ and reconnect with the idea of an unspoilt natural world. There is a temporary wish to return to the forests, to being a “noble savage,” [1] uncorrupted by civilisation and therefore fundamentally good. In this process of glamorisation and stereotyping, we exoticise the natural world? For there is always this curiosity in the other, everything we think as the outside. What if we first tried to look at the otherness in ourselves, what Georges Perec calls the “endotic” [2]. This conceptual tool approaches everyday life in one’s own immediate surrounding, in order to preserve the fascination that comes with the fact of exploring, while also avoiding producing the figure of the other.

My dad always told me I should paint his garden. The idea is growing on me.”

(extract from "Zürich-Athens, Singapore, l'en-vert du décor", 2019)


[1] « The modern myth of the noble savage is most commonly attributed to the 18th-century Enlightenment philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau. He believed the original “man” was free from sin, appetite  or the concept of right and wrong, and that those deemed “savages” were not brutal but noble. His noble savage, considered in Emile, ou de l'Education (1762), Reveries of a Solitary Walker (1782) and Confessions (1768), was a shining beacon to 18th-century Europe », Helen Gardner, Explainer: the myth of the Noble Savage,, February 2016

[2] « Peut-être s'agit-il de fonder enfin notre propre anthropologie : celle qui parlera de nous, qui ira chercher en nous ce que nous avons si longtemps pillé chez les autres. Non plus l'exotique, mais l'endotique. »Georges Perec, L’infra-ordinaire, Paris, Payot, 1989


Anne-Laure Franchette is a French artist currently living and working in Zürich. Approaching her practice as series of investigations, she draws from archeological and anthropological methods of research and knowledge production, looking for blind spots and hidden stories within the urban landscape and its green spaces. Her work takes form through a wide variety of mediums: installation, sculpture, photography, video, writing, publications, workshops and readings. Her production has been exhibited internationally in a variety of institutions, galeries, independent art spaces and festivals (Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, Institut Français de Grèce, Galerie Valerie Delaunay Paris, TART Zürich, Dienstgebäude Zürich, Corner College Zürich, Documenta 14, Athens). As the initiator and Art Director of VOLUMES, an organisation, archive and festival showcasing artist books, she curates libraries, gives workshops and talks about the creativity around art publishing and zines (IMPRESIONANTE, Santiago, Los Angeles Art Book Fair, USA, Time Takes Time, A-Dash, Greece). She created and co-publishes the Zürich Art Space Guide and is part of the interdisciplinary research group on Trans-Industriality TETI.