June 14, 2024

Josian Izoird, La cabane de Josian à la Pointe Courte / Josian's cabin at Pointe Courte

images are screenprints from the video in the documentation

Facing the Mediterranean Sea, Sète is a town with just under 45,000 inhabitants (2021) in the south of France in the Hérault department. The city is located at the beginning of a long dam, running parallel to the coastal strip. Between this strip and the dam is a lagoon or inland sea.

A small area of ​​the city, called Pointe Courte (Short Tip), which extends into this inland sea, has traditionally been a place where fishermen live and hang their nets to dry and where a variety of cabins lines the waterfront. 

The image above shows one of these cabins, topic in this post. More pictures, giving an impression of the area, can be seen on  Google Streetview. 

The cabin in the picture is Josian's cabin, a shelter that Josian Izoird, who was born in Sète in 1954, uses as a studio.

As a young man he was already interested in artistic activities, but following an education in visual art was out of reach for him. 

So he became a fisherman. 

Once retired, probably around 2014, he was able to devote himself to artistic activities. 

The images around give an impression of the kind of artworks he made.

However, he also used the space in front of the cabin, which was public area, as a place to display all kinds of more or less artistic objects. 

This exhibition outside of the studio grew steadily.

Local residents had different opinions about the display, some were sympathetic, but others thought it was just a mess. 

And so it happened that at the end of 2017 the latter residents turned to the local authorities with a complaint about the display. 

Around Christmas Sètes' local authorities gave order to remove all items exposed in the public space.

the French text says: forbidden to annoying people

In part of the art world in Sète, this led to expressions of support for Izoird, especially from Pascal Larderet, who from 2008 for fifteen years caused a lot of cultural commotion in Sète with his Cacahuète company. 

In defense and support of artists like Izoird, an account was opened on Facebook entitled Front de Libération de l'Art Modeste (Front for the Liberation of Modest Art) and on May 1, 2018 a festive meeting (see images on FB) was organized near Izoird's workshop, where the exterior decoration had been reduced to a minimum.

After this festival, Joseph Izoird continued his artistic activities more or less quietly in the following years.

The display along the street has returned, with a more modest, but still colorful design. Kind of a small-scale art environment. 



* Article in the Francebleu news magazine about the removal of the decorative items outside the barn and the subsequent development of a counter-movement
Account on Facebook of the Front de libération de l'art modeste (Modest Art Liberation Front)  


* Video (May 2023, YouTube, 4'09") by Jean Michel Guidez

Joseph Izoird

Josian's cabin at Pointe Courte

195 Allée du Jeu de Boules, Sète, dept Hérault, region Occitanie, France

can be seen from the street
Google Streetview with visitors watching the display and a photo of one of the items

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