Billebaude n ° 10


JUNE 2017

The way in which animals live, mostly hidden from humans, is a source of mysteries. This issue explores the different ways, coming from the first hunters, of following the trail of animals and understanding their modes of existence. Today, tracking takes on a scientific dimension, because it has become the essential tool for monitoring wildlife. Who lives here ? How does he make territory? What are its vital circulation routes, invisible to us? While most humans in the twenty-first century walk in a nature-landscape, where they no longer know how to see other presences, following the animal's trail allows us to read the territory differently, to understand that we live in a habitat shared with other living beings.

This issue is produced in partnership with the National Office for Hunting and Wildlife, a specialist in the scientific monitoring of wildlife in France. It accompanies the summer exhibition of the Museum of Hunting and Nature, "Animate the landscape, on the trail of the living", designed as a passage. While our imagination and our modern representations position us humans outside the landscape, the works in the exhibition will seek to immerse us inside, to represent a living territory, made up of relationships - rich and sometimes conflicting. -, between humans and non-humans.


Billebaude Collection

96 pages, 230 x 300 mm
Public price TTC France:

François Sommer Foundation

Anne de Malleray
Director of collection
Tel: 01 53 01 92 40

Facebook page Billebaude




This issue invites you to follow the animal trail, an activity that dates back to the origins of humanity when hunting depended on our survival and we had to know how to coexist with animals, when our vital territories and our resources were shared. This hunting knowledge - reading the way, the traces, deciphering the leftovers - is not just a heritage of the past.

They are used today to understand where animals live, what their territories are, how their invisible architectures, their habitats, overlap with ours or disappear for lack of space. Scientists from the National Wildlife Office, with whom we are teaming up for this issue, provide valuable data on wildlife habitats. This is why tracking can be a tool for cohabitation: knowing the territory of animals allows us to adapt our ways of occupying it to make room for them, to redraw maps with their presence.

Tracking allows you to see nature differently. In our modern imagination, the landscape and a beautiful panorama, a postcard, a pleasant setting for the human eye. If nature is a setting, it's because we don't know how to read it otherwise. Tracking allows us to pay attention to animals, in a way that, for once, brings us into their world, according to their rules and perspective. What would he do here? By asking ourselves this question so as not to lose track, we are indeed forced to change perspective to adopt theirs. You don't have to be deep in the woods for this. Tracking is a way of paying attention to animal presences wherever they are, including in our domestic and urban environments. By tracking, we rediscover that we are not alone in inhabiting the world. According to the trackers we have approached for this issue, there is immense joy in feeling that one belongs to a world larger than that of humans.

This issue is an extension of the summer exhibition at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, “Animate the landscape / On the trail of the living” (see p 94). Through the works of artists and researchers who have tracked and investigated a territory, this exhibition seeks to bring out a sensitive and living dimension of the landscape that we have forgotten.





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