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les presses du réel

Workshop (book / DVD)

Nicolas Michelin – Magic Subversion (p. 2)

For an architect, this is quite obviously unsettling: a structure made from a pile of cheap materials, of indefinite form and no specific function, stuck onto a noble facade. A sort of parasite that has suddenly wrapped itself around the original architecture. Tadashi Kawamata's work is both subtle and indecent; it subverts. The visitor is shown the insurrection of the precarious over the immovable, or rather, of the suggested over the stated. He has a way of making art, building on and with architecture, that is highly efficient. By braving established perspectives, it leaves no room for nostalgia or history; it is invasive.

At the foot of the château of Versailles, Tadashi Kawamata led over a hundred students armed with thousands of wooden fruit crates on a monumental architectural assault applying a unique strategy. The resulting work has been incredibly stimulating. It revealed the doubts and potential felt when faced with such grand architecture but more importantly, it opened up bold new creative possibilities based on a notion of lightness.

At the Maréchalerie art centre, Tadashi Kawamata confronts the pseudo Mansart building, a stable for sick horses housed in the small central pavilion set in the royal alinement. Its facades and interiors are a sort of reconstruction, invention even, a combination of disparate pieces of the original equestrian manege.

The artist takes the risk of presenting his work in such an unusual context, but with his immense talent, he manages to bestow a new magic to the place.
Tadashi Kawamata: other titles

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