Born on the island of Réunion – French overseas territory in the Indian Ocean, Yasmine Attoumane belongs to a family of Malagasy (Madagascar) and Comorian (Comoros) origin. She grew up in the village of Rivière des Galets, near the river of the same name. From an early age, she was fascinated by the island’s natural landscapes, where volcanoes, cirques, mountains, Rivières(1), gullies, coasts and shores are constantly undergoing intensive erosion, whether terrestrial or man-made. These transformations of the earth instinctively led her to research the theme of territory.
Her early work focused on the Rivière des Galets, where she carried out in situ experiments in the riverbed, taking photographs and creating ephemeral installations and performances. She never ceased to develop a strong imagination. Indeed, insularity has a psychological imprint that influences the artist’s soul and body on the scale of the island coupled with its history.
Conceptual and minimalist aesthetics are recurrent in the artist’s work. It is imbued with a hint of absurdity, derision and poetry, conferring on this work a profound dimension on the question of inhabiting a place, a country, the earth….
My experience with the Rivière des Galets
first led me to question my living environment,
and later to deepen my understanding of the River’s interconnections
with the living, non-living and invisible worlds.
Viewpoints on waterscape
To make the Maas River Fly
Madagascar, la Réunion
This instability of the soil and fragility leads me to redefine and represent the various manifestations of precariousness. The question of collapse, or rather crumbling, the loss of matter, speaks of erosion and entropy. Let’s not forget that Madagascar is nicknamed the Red Island, and seen from the sky, from space, it seems to be bleeding. I also see in it an analogy with the wound, here it seems incicatrisable.
Observing the landscape is not a trivial or passive act, as Evelyne Toussaint reminds us with Yto Barrada’s works (on the domestication of spaces in Tangier), where the landscape is necessarily the site of politics, bearing the mark of daily power, hegemony and resistance. This phrase resonates with my status as an observer at Mahajunga, which questions the relationship between representation and reality. The landscape is a morpho-pedological place, sensitive to history, politics and living beings.