Hugues Reip

Building, 1993

The reference for this work resides in an interpretation of the architectural model represented by the collective housing unit, with its parallelepiped structure and its identical rows of windows. Hugues Reip transposes the archetype into a structure made on the basis of a readymade, a clothes dryer wrapped in a white sheet on which appear windows drawn with black lines over the equivalent of seven floors. Only sliding shutters and Venetian blinds, open in differing degrees, indicate a possible interior activity. This appropriation accentuates, to the point of ridicule, the “poverty” of these quality-less architectures; the fabric which only covers hollowness here evokes sterile ‘façadism’. By playing with the reduction of scales, the subtlety of the surface and the lightness of the structure, the artist brings the architecture back to the level of the domestic arena, a clothes dryer, where, deprived of foundation, it is now just a sheet in the process of “drying”, stripped of all functionalism and all attention to the individual living in the premises. In creating a work which definitely reverberates like an oxymoron, Hugues Reip seems to challenge the appropriation of the materials and procedures of reality:  this drawn sculpture depicts a residential building, whose casters also refer to a certain utopia of mobility.

Nadine Labedade

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