“Relief– Architecturer l’horizon” is an exhibition which took place at “Le Turbulences“, the Orléans Frac centre between 10/04/2015 and 30/08/2015. Curated by Emmanuelle Chiappone-Piriou et Aurélien Vernant in collaboration with artist Aurélie Pétrel (who designed a set of “devices” in order to construct and lead the reading of the works by the visitors), the show is part of a cycle of several events connected to the exploration of the subject of the relief through artistic and architectural reading and reinvention.
This engaging exhibition places iconic architectural pieces from the very rich Frac collection in dialogue with works of video art, sculptures and photographs, in order to evoke the multiple values which the mountaineous landscape has embodied throughout history.
Exhibited works from the last sixty years testify mankind’s attraction to a landscape which appears as much as a defiance to his strenght as a challenge to his ability to shape the environment. A number of works materialize theoretical efforts made in order to reinvent human habitat under natural conditions, like Claude Parent‘s and Paul Virilio‘s inclined plane, Haus-Rucker-Co‘s “Klima” and “Alpenwanderung” and Hans Dieter Schaal‘s “Path crossing a tiled platform that is penetrated by rocks“, using landscape as a lesson to escape functionalism and introduce challenging perpectives in the creation of space.
A leit-motif of the exhibition is the analysis of how a geographical entity can be simulated by analogical and digital means, in order to underline the delicate balance in constructing and controlling shapes which escape easy rationalization. An exemplary work is the maquette of François Roche’s (R&Sie’s) entry for the the new Frac centre architectural competition.
“About nonconscious architecture” by Gianni Pettena (1973), appears to us like the pivotal point of the discourse. Conceived as a sort of catalogue of the artist/architect’s photographs of American Landscapes, this work questions the boundaries between a found geographical entity, shaped by natural agents or by essential human needs, and the consciousness of a project of architecture.
A counterpoint to this last work seems to be the video of the performance “When Faith Moves Mountains” by Francis Alÿs to which we dedicated a previous post in Socks. Alÿs’ video operates a political commentary while showing the struggle of masses to move mountains, putting into practice a figure of speech and obtaining only invisible results from an apparently great effort.
While leaving you to some images from the works exhibited in “Relief”, we’d like to thank Emmanuelle Chiappone-Piriou et Aurélien Vernant for the passionate guided tour they kindly offered us.
All images (except Francis Alys’s “When Faith Moves Mountains”) © « Collection Frac Centre, Orléans »