Enfilade

Exhibition | The Art of the Site: Building and Demolishing

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on December 5, 2018

Now on view at the Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine:

The Art of the Site: Building and Demolishing from the 16th to the 21th Century
Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine, Paris, 9 November 2018 — 11 March 2019

Curated by Valérie Nègre and Marie-Hélène Contal

The exhibition juxtaposes different viewpoints, bringing together a collection of works and documents produced by artists, journalists, and amateurs, as well as those who work in situ: engineers, architects, contractors, and—what is rarer—labourers, through votive offerings or masterpieces produced by the Compagnons charpentiers des Devoirs du Tour de France. The exhibition ends with the statements of three contemporary architect-engineers: Patrick Bouchain, Marc Mimram, and Martin Rauch, for whom the building site is ever increasingly the space where architecture meets complexity, inventiveness and the aspirations of the modern-day world.

As the result of close collaboration between specialists of art and specialists of techniques, the exhibition offers a diverse interpretation of the theme: it casts a light on the technical dimension, as well as the social, political, and artistic dimensions. The path begins with what you would expect to find on a site: construction processes, machines, and men at work. It then highlights the political and social issues about the place that is being built. Even though the site is a highly technical area, it is also a theatre for those in charge, who like to show themselves there, and for the labourers, who are sometimes viewed as oppressed masses, sometimes viewed as heroes.

L’Art du chantier: Construire et démolir du 16e au 21e siècle (Paris, Snoeck, 2018), 283 pages, ISBN: 978-9461614728, 42€.

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