Marine Lanier

Le soleil des loups

For The Wolves’ Sun, with a medium format film camera in her hand, Marine Lanier spent three years following two children becoming adolescents.

They played out their games on the vastness of a basalt plateau, and in seemingly endless and timeless woods, like primeval forests.

The geological history of this landscape gives rise to an extraordinary particularity, it is in inverse relief, literally « the world upside down ».

The ancient layers of the the earth’s crust have risen to the surface while the more recent layers have been buried at the foot of the plateau through volcanic activity.

This metamorphosis of rock and earth finds a living reflection in the growth and emancipation of the adolescents; an internal revolution of which the landscape is the repository.

By resorting to the most essential symbolism, the sun, water, fire, a tree or a hunter, Marine Lanier’s images stage these elements as the common denominators of humanity.

Be it contemplative or hostile, nature as it is personified reveals its ambiguous and all-encompassing beauty.

By provoking us to dive into this tender yet brutal world, Marine Lanier captures the complex and wild relationship that exists between this natural site and its clannish inhabitants:

on one side untameable nature, on the other the adolescents who change and progress with strength and without boundaries.

In every image we read the immensity of their unreasonable and vertiginous liberty ; like a universal expression of adolescence itself.

They know the river, the harshness of the cliffs and seem to learn exploration, hunting and swimming from nature itself.

Their bodies (sometimes helmeted, armed and clad in technical futuristically primitive garments, confront mineral roughness, the disorienting luxuriance of the flora, the deep, dark fluidity of water, and are bathed in a blinding yet sombre luminosity.

A paradoxical day, an American night, le soleil des loups.

With their impassive childish faces they pass as adults, they are ageless, like the forest itself, with which they merge,

camouflaged with leaves, daubed with warpaint amongst the ferns, moving slowly through almost immobile water, like those wild animals with mimetic skins which we only discover as we come across them, invisible on bark or rocks for as long as they choose.

In what seem like rites of passage, these sylvan adolescents make their own spears, move about swinging on ropes, and never lose their way. They are like the tricksters of ancient cultures, dangerous, unpredictable players, who mischievously perturb the waves, the surface and the order of our certainties about childhood.

Xavier Jullien