Marion Laval-Jeantet is an artist, transcultural psychiatrist, and Associate Professor in University Paris 1 (Panthéon-Sorbonne), she leads the program Art Mondiality and Environment (UMR Acte – CNRS), and holds postgraduate degrees in Art (University Paris 1), Biology, Anthropology and Clinical Psychology (University Paris 8 and 10). She has exhibited her artistic work with Benoit Mangin since 1991 under the pseudonym AOO (Art Object Oriented), while continuing research work in aesthetics, bio-anthropology and transcultural psychiatry (she has been initiated to different shamanistic rituals).
The artistic partnership of Marion Laval-Jeantet and Benoit Mangin began in Paris in 1991. The duo places ecology, defined as the scientific interrogation of the conditions of our existence, at the center of its artistic preoccupations. From the beginning their output has included installation, performance, video, and photography dealing with the various themes around Life. This approach is inclusive enough to have led their work into the domains of biology, behavioral sciences (their work in psychology and ethology introduced a strong animal presence), ecology, and ethnology leading to poetic and surprising art that is both visionary and political.
Art oriente objet’s ecological concerns resulted in art which seems to have strong links to a craftwork tradition in which recycling and reusing are important. Their use of recycled materials and time taking craftwork confers upon their art an aspect of masterly tinkering, Marion defined it as a Slow Art.
Their work relating to biotechnology has earned them a place within the BioArt movement (Jens Hauser, Le Lieu Unique, 2004) and they are often counted among the artists at the frontier between art and science. In addition, they can be considered as social observer artists or as anthropologist artists who promote experimentation on systems that they formally analyze. Furthermore, Marion Laval-Jeantet faces these issues head on as a professional practitioner of anthropology and psychology. Their modus operandi is to gain life experiences from a direct immersion in a “field of experience” upon which they base the creation of a transmittable Vision and an “active object.”
In their quest to promote an art that resists systems which limit artists only to the role of creators of artworks, Art Oriente Objet have, from the start, taken part in research, teaching, and activism on a parallel track to their artwork production. They have also organized art exhibitions, notably the Worldwatchers project, which focuses on the theme of art and environment and which has taken place on an international level in both the northern and southern hemispheres for over ten years (in Benin, Cameroon, France, Norway, etc.)