Friday, July 11
For Laurent Pariente, empty space can be as much a building material as the painted walls and floors of the room segments he creates – able to be coloured by filtered light and moulded by structural demarcation. The manipulation of spatial perspectives by physical environments is at the heart of the artist’s latest project, Sans Titre, currently occupying the Grand Hall of the Mudam modern art museum in Luxembourg.
144 translucent coloured PVC panels, each four metres high and spread over 233 sq m, create a labyrinthine walkway, transforming the museum’s hollow central atrium into an intimate series of whimsical nooks.
The translucency lends an oddly voyeuristic element to the ordinarily open space; the movement of other visitors behind distant screens attracts special attention and adds to the rhythm of the installation.
The effect recalls in part the giant metal sculptures of Richard Serra, and like Serra’s richly textured sloping walls, Pariente’s shiny facades fascinate both as visual tricks and as ornaments in themselves – not to mention as smart mini-feats of constructive engineering.