As a metaphor of nature, and as a sign and mythical object, the mountain summons the universal imagination. For architecture, on the face of it, this “ultimate form of (geographical) relief” represents a pure otherness, which is in a state of tension with its programme for putting the world in order.
It is this meeting between the rational and the complexity of the relief which the exhibition proposes to explore: the production of space stems at times from conflict, at others from the combination and even hybridization of these two orders. This is what is illustrated by the sixty or so works on view, through the shifts and stratifications of the eye’s gaze executed by the artist Aurélie Pétrel.
In the Anthropocene or ‘human’ age, artists and architects are still the special go-betweens where the landscape is concerned; they renew our understanding of an environment now shaped by human activity more than by any other natural and geological force. The panoramic and unitary representation of the mountainous landscape has indeed marked man’s entry into modernity and his triumph over nature, but the complexity of the contemporary territory calls upon other visions-somewhere between narrative, diagnosis and simulation.
These new narratives are fuelled by primitive forms which, since the 1960s, have been ceaselessly questioning models resulting from the industrial culture. They draw from the Expressionist tradition which, from the early 20th century on, erected the mountain as the symbol of an “autonomous” architecture, imbued with emotional values. This quest was extended in the sculpture-architecture of the 1960s, which turned the relief of a landscape into a “duplicated experience” of space. It delimits a new topographical horizon which digital tools nowadays make it possible to give material form to: as in the geological formation, one and the same movement now gives rise to form and matter.
As an area of emancipation, the relief also brings in a form of dizziness, a kind of instability of body and senses. In rekindling the overarching presence in the world of the mountaineer being tested by summits, artists and architects make his experience of de-conditioning the matrix of an individual and collective re-inclusion in the environment.
Somewhere between art, architecture and experimentation, the Frac Centre’s collection deals in a comprehensive way with the issue of the landscape. This issue is defined as a territory in the making which, through comparison with recognized and emerging artists, ushers in contemporary issues and questions its own horizon.
In the Frac Centre Collection
Archizoom Associati (Andrea Branzi)
Biothing (Alisa Andrasek)
Pierre de Fenoyl
Ugo La Pietra
MATSYS (Andrew Kudless)
Objectile (Bernard Cache)
Claude Parent (avec Paul Virilio, Gérard Mannoni,
Ettore Sottsass Jr.
Jorge Pedro Nuñez
Hans Dieter Schaal