NOAH

manager in Portfolio 2014.07.01
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NOAH #18

 

2013年夏、アーティスト・イン・レジデンスプログラムでスイスのクラン・モンタナにて滞在制作した作品。

 

2013年9月に訪れたスイス・ヴァレー地方の滞在制作では、はじめにその土地を歩き回ることからフィールドワークが始まった。僕は標高4000m峰が連なるアルプスの山脈に囲まれた地域で、谷から谷へと渡り歩き過ごした。それはまるで天から降り注いだ雨水が自ら川を築き、山に線を描いてゆくような流れと近いものだった。

その過程でいつしかBisse(ビス)と呼ばれている水路、さらにそこへ寄り添う細い山道と出会い、その魅力に僕は引き込まれていった。Bisseとは氷河から溶け出した水や雪解け水を活用した灌漑用水路の名称で、千年近く前から村人が中心となり建設・管理してきた。かつては、主に牧草地に水を運び動物たちや農地を豊かにするためのものであったようだが、今では葡萄畑に引かれたものなどが一部その姿を留めている。

ヴァレー地方独特である山間部の水路は、途切れ途切れではあるが今でも各所に残されていて、地図から探り出しては繋ぐように歩いて回った。すると足音は水の流れに掻き消され、身体は水に運ばれてゆくような錯覚を起こし、ぐっと山に近づいた気持ちとなっていった。

又、Bisse du Ro やBisse de Vercorinでは伝統的な工法で水路を修復する男達とも出会うことができた。Bisseを流れる水は水源に始まり、山の傾斜を活用した水路を経て、やがては人々の暮らす土地を目指してゆく。だが途中には絶壁もあり、そこでは木で組まれた箱型の水路が水を溢さぬように運んでゆく。

(「Crossing Views I」展覧会カタログ、津田直“NOAH”テキストより)

 

 

In September 2013, I went to the Valais region of Switzerland to do an artist residency and began my fieldwork by going about on foot. I spent the days walking from one valley to another, surrounded by a continuous range of Alpine peaks soaring to an altitude of 4,000 meters. These journeys, I felt were almost like rivers formed of fallen rain, etching lines in the mountains.

At one point during my preambulations, I came across and became enchanted by ancient water channels and the narrow mountain trails that led to them. Fed by snowmelt or glacial runoff, these channels, called “bisse” in French, have been built and maintained for almost a thousand years largely by villagers as a source of irrigation water. Thanks to the bisses, which were constructed mainly to water the pastures, livestock and farmland flourished. Only some of these channels, like those used to irrigate vineyards, still exist in their former condition.

The bisses are a distinctive feature of the mountainous areas within Valais, and though largely discontinuous, can still be found in various places. I located them on the map and visited each one on foot, as if I were connecting them. During my approach, the sound of my footsteps would be drowned out by the sound of water, giving rise to the illusion of being carried by the flow, of being closer to the mountains.

Following the Bisse du Ro and Bisse de Vercorin, I encountered men who use traditional techniques to repair and maintain these water channels. Starting from their source, the bisses carry water down the mountain slopes to locations inhabited by people. To prevent the water from falling off the face of cliffs along the way, box-shaped channels made of wood were constructed to carry the flow.

(From Crossing Views I exhibition catalog, “NOAH” text by Nao Tsuda)

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