Bernhard Rüdiger

La poésie, 1994

La Poésie was produced during an artist’s residency in Bourges in one of the studios run by the School of Fine Arts and the FRAC Centre. This work was directly inspired by an odd monument in the city, the Water Tower. Built in 1865, and decorated with a monumental neo-Louis XIII fountain, it does not immediately proclaim its function as a water tank. The ornamentation of the walls and the arrangement of the interior circulation in a double concentric deambulatory do not suggest the existence of tanks, and the building seems to have no use. This work is a small-scale representation of the building. It was shown in Bourges at the very site of the water tower. Placed at the entrance, at eye level, it forced visitors to discover and walk through an architecture in detail, before physically grasping it. Through the experience of looking and the mental projection into the edifice, the building itself found a meaning. The physical circuit of the building on a 1:1 scale gave rise to an understanding of the work. But this sculpture also permits a new approach to the maquette-object. The physical experiment of the model is made possible by its presentation 1.50 m/5 ft. above the floor, evoking Renaissance maquettes built on an anthropomorphic scale. A new vision, from beneath, thus contrasts with the classic vision of the object, from overhead. Here, the maquette is no longer a scaled down modeling of reality; it becomes nothing less than a spatial experience.

Nadine Labedade

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