Delphine Coindet

Les maisons, 1997

With Les Maisons, Delphine Coindet focused on the representation and the imaginary world of the household space; however, the title of the whole suggests that these structures might have a function as housing units. At the root of this work, there is the prevalent idea of an architecture or a household space, conceived as a third skin, in a sort of projection of epidermis, clothing, and habitat. Each element in this series is organized with one and the same format (about 1 metre in height on a round base with a diameter of 70 cm.) These dimensions refer to the world and games of children—the hut—as well as to this primary desire to construct an edifice delimiting a territory defining us while at the same time protecting us from the dangers of the outside world. The elements with variable geometry thus make reference to the comfort and protection inherent in a house, but also to the isolation in these spaces (Le Tunnel, and Tipi/Teepee). Set directly on the floor, each sculpture has a conical base which invites the spectator’s movement; at that time the artist was particularly interested in the curvaceous ballet costumes of Oskar Schlemmer in the 1920s. This desire to develop an imaginary space is based on the implementation of each material: the cardboard is cut up and glued, the foam rubber is rolled up, and the sheets of polystyrene are piled up. Each architectural type thus tallies with a specific shape which in its turn calls to mind a particular material. The motifs used are intentionally archetypal, not to say stereotypical: they call on a common visual memory and permit identifications and transfers.

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