A project by Marie Ilse Bourlanges & Elena Khurtova

Since 2014, Marie Ilse Bourlanges and Elena Khurtova research and intervene with the found archive of Jacques Bourlanges, author of an intriguing theory of a correlation between star constellations and French geography. His investigation connects esoteric symbols with long forgotten history of villages and mountain names by mirroring geometric figures of stars onto the French landscape. With his passing away in 1991, he left an archive of twenty-four boxes, that waited in oblivion until 2013. It contains an overwhelming abundance of notes, carefully organised in self-made folders, geometric drawings and a profusion of maps overlapped with mysterious lines.

This project is supported by the Mondriaan fund and Stichting Stokroos.

– Unfolding the archive of Jacques Bourlanges

The complex research of Jacques Bourlanges is based on finding a tangible correlation between the position of star constellations and cities, villages and meaningful landmarks in Europe, and mostly in South of France.

His assumption was that – not only geographical landscape information but also – stars had a subconscious influence on shaping our constructed environment. At a first glance, we were absolutely impressed by the profusion of maps, notes and sketches, filling to its maximum the 24 archive boxes we collected, as well as how visually appealing this whole archive turned out to be. Therefore, we properly recorded all documents and research with pictures and listed a thorough inventory.

Content-wise, the research of J. Bourlanges is quite broad, and involves different fields: toponymy, legends and symbols, geography, astronomy and astrology, as well as genealogy and heraldic study of Noble families (mostly in France). It all makes sense when reading his book “the Sky is on the Earth”, which zooms in regional, historical and folkloric facts or legends, therefore creating imaginative links between each star constellation and a particular region on Earth. A few side projects are dedicated to looking for clues to finding the legendary hidden treasure of the Templars, as well as a thorough research on Joan of Ark, and the development of several chemistry and engineering patents.

– Atelier Holsboer

This project is currently supported by the Mondriaan fund and Stichting Stokroos. We were also selected as artists in residency at Atelier Holsboer in La Cité des Arts in Paris – period of 01April to 30 September 2014 – by the Mondriaan fund