Les Voix de la Vallée

Marie Darrieussecq and Ernst Zürcher

How can we live in the forest? Fiction and the intelligence of trees

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About the night class

As part of the exhibition The Valley by Fabrice Hyber, the Fondation Cartier invites writer Marie Darrieussecq and forest engineer Ernst Zürcher to participate in the Voices of the Valley evening class series. Within the exhibition spaces, the two guest speakers discuss the hypotheses proposed by Fabrice Hyber in his paintings before a live audience.

Over the course of this evening, based on the works Orage, Impossible – 100 pommes, 1000 cerises, Réinvention de la forêt and L'Arbre mental, Marie Darrieussecq and Ernst Zürcher ask the following question: “How can we live in the forest?” and share thoughts on topics like fiction and the intelligence of trees.

This live discussion will be broadcast simultaneously on the websites of the Fondation Cartier and *Duuu Radio, and in the form of podcasts via the main platforms.


With the participation of:

  • Picture Yann Diener.
    Marie Darrieussecq

    Marie Darrieussecq is a writer born in the Basque region in 1969. A former student of the prestigious École Normale Supérieure and psychoanalyst, she has published some twenty books, in particular novels, and short stories, as well as a biography, play, essays, and translations. Since Pig Tales in 1996, she has stayed with her publishing house, POL. The recipient of the Prix Médicis and Prix des Prix in 2013 for her novel Men, she regularly collaborates with contemporary art magazines in both France and Great Britain. She received the Prix CIEF for her body of work, which has been translated in many countries. The sea, forests and animals are among her favorite themes, especially in her novel Notre vie dans les forêts (Our life in the forests) (2017). More recently, Pas Dormir (Not Sleeping), an essay on insomnia, was published by POL in September 2021.

  • Picture Ernst Zurcher.
    Ernst Zürcher

    Ernst Zürcher is a Swiss forest engineer, a doctor in natural sciences, professor and wood sciences researcher at the Haute École in Bern. Up until recently, he was also a lecturer at the École polytechnique fédérale in Lausanne (EPFL), the École polytechnique fédérale in Zurich (ETHZ), and the Université de Lausanne (UNIL). His specialty is the temporal structures of trees (chronobiology). He is the author of numerous scientific articles and two books: Les arbres, entre visible et invisible: s'étonner, comprendre, agir (2016 / 2021) and Planter un arbre et créer une forêt (2021). He is known for his sensitive approach to trees and keen interest in their barely perceptible and still unexplained characteristics.


Practical information

Additional information

Thursdays at 7pm.
Estimated duration: 1 hour.
Discussions in French.
Free seating within the limit of available spaces.
Access to the classroom where the evening class is held upon presentation of the exhibition ticket.
This ticket includes access to the evening class on the date chosen when booking, as well as entry to the exhibition that same day from 5pm.
The evening classes are broadcast live on the websites of the Fondation Cartier and *Duuu Radio, before being made available in the form of podcasts.
Latecomers will not be allowed access to the event so as not to disturb the speakers or interfere with the audio recording. We thank the audience in advance for their punctuality.

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