Jean-Louis Boissier, Seconde Promenade

Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany

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CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany
DEZEMBER 1998

Boissier’s installation SECONDE PROMENADE, exhibited at the Art and Exhibitions Hall of the German Federal Republic between December 3, 1998 and February 2, 1999, combines different media: Pictures, sounds, music, videos and computer-based text. This hypertext is closely related to Rousseau’s original work “Seconde Promenade”

By means of simple interaction with the artwork, visitors can read Rousseau’s text in all sorts of variations. Furthermore, the installation refers to the Rousseau’s complete literary and philosophical work as well as describing the results of the research conducted. This piece of media art is essayistic on one hand; on the other, Boissier describes autobiographical aspects of Rousseau‘s life and work.

“Seconde Promenade” is a central part of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s (1670-1712) text “Rèveries du promeneur solitaire” (Monologues of a lonely walker). This text is a counterpart to the stories about the flowers of the island of Saint Pierre that served as foundation for Boissiers earlier installation “Flora petrinsularis”. The stories describe the moment in which Rousseau decided never to write again, only to start his work on “Confessions” at the same time.

“Seconde Promenade” stands for a moment of rebirth: Rousseau is spending an afternoon walking, collecting plants in the autumn landscape on the hills of Ménilmontan. Absorbed in his own thoughts, he remembers wonderful moments of his life. Suddenly, he is attacked by a dog, loses his consciousness and only slowly regains it. This experience is what he describes in the “Monologues of a lonely walker”.

The aesthetic power and the conceptional quality of SECONDE PROMENADE consists in finding a new language for the audio-visual media particularly on the interactive level, following both the literary and the cinematographic tradition.

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