Over at La Grande Motte and Montpellier in France, the Festival des Architectures Vives is back for 2015. Established in 2006, FAV aims to connect the public to architecture and new urban spaces around town as well as showcase the work of young architects. In celebration of FAV's 10th edition, the 2015 theme will simply be La Dixieme (or The Tenth Edition).
As visitors explore Montpellier and La Grande Motte, they'll find installation sites that play with the notion of temporality: spontaneity, immediacy, chance encounters, the ephemeral, and so on.
FAV Montepellier opens on June 9 through 14, while La Grande Motte starts on June 20-28. Mark those calendars!
Scroll down to see some of this year's installations.
Panta Rei by Josseran Crochet
Project description: "Many buildings, such as the Hôtel de Lunas, have met the gaze of countless eyes throughout centuries past. It is the eye that carves up time: as the sedimentation of moments are reflected in it, we see ourselves within the space that surrounds us. The landscape becomes tepid. Once through the entrance, one does not feel the weight of the past, the installation immerses an audience into a new representation of reality. Imagination is confronted as an authentic mise en abyme: two pools are on the ground at each sides of the courtyard; their bottom is black and the carpet between them is black. Perception is redefined in the present time: through the image of the walls circling, one may witness the liquid reflexion of imaginary visions.
Looking to the ground, one is borne by vertical movement: the sky is overwhelming; it is capricious, and vulnerable to the randomness of spontaneity. Its eternally transient mood is reflected by slanted mirrors, which are scattered inside the pools and inserted between black stripes. This project aims at bringing about the transience of the meeting between the visitor and the courtyard that they walk across. It imitates what is temporary. Water, as with the structure that contains it is both the same and never as it once was. Therefore, by staring at it, one is embracing an immanent time, which is both inherited and limitless. *In Ancient Greek, Panta rei means ‘everything flows’; it synthesises the thought of the everlasting movement of the world."
Goldfish by Claire Dusonchet / Julien Plessis
Project description: "We hope to offer the visitor a moment of dreaming and contemplation, an installation appearing outside of time that is suitable for meditation. Throughout the theatrical décor composed of a black ground, from which emerges a golden pool with carp, the installation reveals the volume of the courtyard, which modifies our perception. Reinterpreting the zen garden, this abstract composition creates a contrasting harmony with the courtyard. Here the materi als oppose one another, like the black surface of the ground that responds to the light stone of the walls.
At the same time, the forms are in dialogue; these fluid and asymmetrical forms of the golden pool contradict the structured ge ometry of the buildings. Finally, the permanence of the architecture stands opposed to the changing surface of the pool. Precious and dazzling, this matter is in perpetual transformation by the play of reflections that formalize the contradiction, creating a strange, timeless atmosphere."
DI-X- by Atelier 1.25
Project description: "A large X. X for 10, to celebrate the 10 years of the Festival des Architectures Vives. This is the first image for the visitor who enters the court. However, this installation offers more complex volumes. Over the visitor’s journey, the symbolic form disappears, giving way to a sculpted volume that grows towards the facades of the court. It is actually a large faceted sculpture that interrogates the look and the notion of point of view. Its reflective faces dress it of fragments of the facades, soil, sky, and silhouettes. With visitors, the sculpture comes to life; it reflects the movements, gets animated of new shapes and colors, invites to play and interaction. In this ephemeral parenthesis, this installation attempts to create a unique moment and to reinvent the experience of the place."
L’espace d’un instant
by Marine Gresser / Veronica Hirtz
Project description: "'Time has only one reality, the one of the instant' - Gaston Bachelard
The present is a moment one experiences, a precise point in time dissolving itself in the instant. Although of hidden nature, this te mporal phenomenon is imposing a threshold, and thus, invites us constantly to leave one moment, in order to enter in a new unexpected other¹. It is however impossible to know when exactly an instant wi ll transform itself into another, and subsequent ly, a space into a new one. This precise and ephemeral moment, which the individual is being confronted with, destabilizes the perception established by the collective memory. Both sensual and natural, the sandy floor adds to the narrative of a desert landscape where the perception of permanence disappears, whilst the TRACE¹ of the present instant is being revealed. Vast and only punctuated by twigs reflecting the infinity, the installation creates the image of an intimate interiority in the shining and glowing manner of the anemone. The visitor is invited to travel through an ATMOSPHERE representing the very heart of the INSTANT¹, stimulating the mind and giving the opportunity to softly doze off into the realm of one’s imagination, which knows no boundaries."
¹ “The present doesn’t pass since we leave an instant to encounter a new other” p.48, Gaston Bachelard, L’intuition de l’instant, édition Stock, 1932
¹ “History is the description of something specific, namely comprehensible, in the human events” p.81, Paul Veyne, Comment on écrit l’histoire, Paris, édition Seuil, 1971
¹ “We all remember being and not lasting” p.34, Gaston Bachelard, L’intuition de l’instant, édition Stock, 1932
Memento by Nicola Lorusso / Michele Realis Luc
"Reflecting upon the Tenth Edition of the Festival des Architectures Vives in Montpellier is an evocative procedure. This means taking time to think and to evaluate not anymore the content but the container; the Festival is a developer of different stories, which over the years have filled the courtyards in the heart of Montpellier. The same storyteller with always different tales. For us the first step was inevitably a careful consideration on the Time. A private mansion, an inner courtyard, a patio, these symbolic places were crossed from 1 million children, 700 bicycles, 90 cats, 50 balls, a dozen stools and 9 installations. How many time-space stratifications could be described from every little cut of each courtyard! The Tenth Edition in our concept is a stratification of the previous times. Likewise the Camera Obscura we have layered the negatives that have built in the collective memory the picture of FAV as we know it today, so to create potential interrelationships between different times.
The visitors will experience a three-dimensional sectioned object made of everything that courtyards have experimented along the nine editions. Incomplete fragments have filled those forgotten and invisible spaces in the past, and now the spectators will look at them in an entangled muddle of strings, cubes, spheres, stools, cones, monitors, panels, balls and frameworks. A very simple concept bears the seducing and complex idea that any present moment is not worth being define as unique; the Einstein relativity get us aware of the flow of time as the great illusion, therefore we think the way to represent it has to change and this object wants to be an ephemeral but confident attempt. To quote Albert Einstein: 'People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.'"
La Petite Motte by C.A.M.E.
Project description: "A wild island coming from the horizon. Surrounded by boats pitching in the port, the floating project contrasts with the listed city, ‘La Grande Motte’, symbol of the sixties. As if, with great effort, it mastered the waves to arrive and drop anchor in this undiscovered world. The island is facing the inhabitants of the city as we are amazed in front of it. A proper wild vegetation is growing on this floating island. On the dockside, a spyglass attracts the passers-by to stop and look closer. A mirror surface underneath the perimeter gives a light effect to the abundant vegetation. At night, the plants will be lighted and will look like floating on top of the dark sea. In spite of its small size, the island is full of symbols. With bravery and contrast, this daring piece of nature is facing the impressive Grande Motte. All in all, a wild island where a tiny Robison Crusoe lives his life of adventurer despite all opposition."
Origamic by Klest Pango
Project description: "The theme of the digit opens up new horizons and allows a line to be drawn between between the past, the present and the future. The shape of 'Origamic' sends us back to our childhood, bringing back memories of a folded paper boat left alone on a seawall in a timeless dimension. 'Origamic' claims to be a sensory experience encouraging the imagination and the collective subconscious. This time frame takes place beside the frenzy we are inescapably subject to, opening the door to a more sensit ive practice of place. The experience is initiated at the turn of a sail, through a play of successive hoops, acknowledging the previous editions of the FAV. The purpose of this playful journey is a tenth dematerialized “step”, within a privileged crack between the solidity of the earth and the fluidity of the sea, in harmony with the place and which sets the scene for new interpretation of the Mediterranean Sea."
Les arbres dans l'eau by Laps
Project description: "As an echo to Jean Balladur’s ambitious initial project at La Grande Motte we are proposing “Bois Parasols” place Janicaud, a constructions made of wooden crates which will establish a symbiosis between vegetation and ar chitecture, organic and geometrical forms. “Bois Parasols” arises above the water of the pond creating a shaded walk across the fountain thus shrouded in a new light. Thin strips of wood create a foliage of soft round shapes, letting go through fragments of sky that reflect on the surface of the water. While walking by the sea you can enjoy a walk under that big wood umbrella and admire the glitter of the leaves over the water."
Régate by Allegory Studio
Project description: "The 'Regatta' project is rooted in a particular space- time, mixing the ephemeral look to the architectural heritage of the place. 100 white sea buoys, geometrically sited in the middle of the boats of the Marina of La Grande-Motte, bring a visual rhythm to the landscape with reference to pyramidal concrete buildings of Balladur. Making the buoy as a serial object evoking a timeless space... The regatta is it already passed or is it coming? It is also the celebration of a start and a finish that reflects the anniversary of 10 years of FAV."
Embruns by Arnaud Malthieu / Amandine Romanet / Matthieu Thuillier
Project description: "The iconic pyramids of the« La Grande Motte » landscape have allowed to discipline winds, leaving the entrance in the city relieved from their salt and distracted from their violence. It is only with this condition that emerge a vegetable wolrd protected and secured, sheltered through a fixed screen buildings. Today this sea sprays constituting the invisible trace of the town's history, one of his imperceptible foundations. Inspired by the place In which It takes place and imaginary linked to the wind, the work is implanted on a dock in direct relation with the horizon and the sea. "Embruns" colored object seemingly naive product bubbles clouds which by their presence come to attract the look on the shared history of the place, only for a moment. The air rushes into the installation, once past the threshold, soap imprisone the air for a moment. Ephemeral and magical the bubble soap go away thanks to the wind."
All images courtesy of Festival des Architectures Vives 2015.
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