An exhaustive documentation on La Maison Forestière Wilfred Owen, a commissionned work by Simon Patterson inaugurated in 2011 as part of the New Patrons
La Maison Forestière at Ors (Northern France) is where the soldier poet Wilfred Owen spent his last night. Lieutenant Wilfred Owen, who was killed attempting to cross the Sambre-Oise canal on 4 November 1918 in one of the last actions of the First World War, now lies in the British Commonwealth section of the cemetery of the commune of Ors.
The local councillors and some of the village residents wanted to put an artistic and literary project in place that would commemorate Owen. To bring this about, together with the Association Wilfred Owen France, they turned to artconnexion, an organisation devoted to the production of contemporary art, and mediator for the New Patrons initiative of the Fondation de France.
It was decided that a categorically contemporary work should be commissioned, rather than a museum or memorial and, in 2004, the British artist Simon Patterson was invited to respond to the commission. He proposed, with support of the mayor and the village of Ors, to focus on la Maison Forestière, and give the disused building new life both as a hommage to Wilfred Owen but also as a venue for poetry. The artist's design has been realised by the French architect Jean-Christophe Denise. The house is simultaneously a sculpture, a visual work and a sound piece: its roof is remade to represent an open book while the internal space is filled with animated projections of texts by Wilfred Owen on the walls. A circular ramp leads down to the cellar where Wilfred Owen wrote his last letter home to his mother. It is the only original part of the building and the artist has preserved it exactly as it was.
British artist Simon Patterson (born 1967 in Leatherhead, Surrey) plays with metaphors. Working across a wide variety of media, including painting, sculpture, film and architectural projects, the artist co-ops the presentational capacities of trusted representations of information, from the underground map to the periodic table, from type-writers to electrical circuits, subverting their claim to certainty, by replacing the names of tube stations, electrical breakers, chemicals, or letters of the alphabet with the names of musicians, movies stars, or the kings and queens of England. Rendered in sharp colour, indexical formations and graphic lines, Patterson's work detours reason through its own image, producing loose and lively plays of signification, escaping certainty, and yielding an encounter with the unlikely, the illogical, and the unexpected.
Text by Raymon Balau; interview with Simon Patterson by Amanda Crabtree and Bruno Dupont.
published in 2011
bilingual edition (English / French)
22,6 x 25,9 cm (softcover)
64 pages (ill.)
ISBN : 978-2-9536142-1-3
EAN : 9782953614213