This publication stems from The Devil's Peak (in beige), an installation created in the Californian desert of Amboy by Maxime Bondu and Bureau A (Leopold Banchini & Daniel Zamarbide). The project deals with how the absence of water conditions life in the desert.
Amboy, California, is a town located on the old 66 road in the heart of the mojave desert. Gaz station, post office, trailers, abandoned motel and no fresh water. The ghost town has stories of murders and satanic cults and since the town is at 3 hours from L.A, it's a recurrent background for Hollywood movies.
In front and behind the town, the beige and hot desert continues.
The Devil's Peak (in beige) is an installation composed of a glass pyramid distilling fresh water from the salty water lying beneath the ground in the primitive bristol lake, a concrete bench in shape of a crystal of salt and a windmill, lightning a neon bar translating the wind in morse language. The installation works as an attempt to translate both the hostile environment and landscape and the fiction narrative surrounding the ghost town.
The installation was produced in the framework of “Underground”, the second edition of MATZA Amboy, an artists' residency held from June 16 to July 6, 2016.
Published following the exhibition “Underground” at MATZA, Geneva, from November 25 to December 11, 2016.
Maxime Bondu (born 1985, lives and works in Gaillard, France) studied Art History and Archeology at the University of Marne la Vallée and graduated from the Brest Fine Art School in 2009. His work focuses on the notions of information, speculation and probability, with a strong collaborative and curatorial input. As a cofounder of Monstrare, he manages the Monstrare Camp, a community experiment set in the 30,000 sq. meter cave site of Dampierresur Loire. He has developed Bermuda, a mutualized studio project at the French Swiss border.
Founded in 2012, BUREAU A is the association of Leopold Banchini and Daniel Zamarbide. Architects by training BUREAU A is a multidisciplinary platform aiming to blur the boundaries of research and project making on architectural related subjects, whichever their nature and status.
BUREAU A is profoundly rooted in architectural culture and history, understood as a vast field of exploration related to construction and installation of environments for specific purposes. The bureau expands its activities to a large diversity of programs ranging from architecture and landscape design to scenography, installations, or self-constructed initiatives. It has developed a specific interest in public spaces and political issues; how design and architecture can possibly confront them is at the heart of the interrogations cultivated by the bureau.
BUREAU A invests widely in research, cultivating its partner's interest in cultural exchanges and transmission through education. The bureau currently holds a professorship at the Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD) and will be guest professor at the Polytechnic School of Architecture in Lausanne (EPFL) in 2014-2015. The bureau has conducted numerous workshops and lectures in Europe but also worldwide.
BUREAU A has gained, in a short period of time, a wide recognition through a number of awards and publications. In 2013 the bureau was, amongst other things, awarded with the Swiss Art Awards and first prize for the CEVA Champel public space competition and Ville et Champs competition. In 2014, its work has been presented at the Swiss Architecture Museum in Basel for the exhibition “Orientations: Young Swiss Architects”. The projects of the bureau has been published in the most important design blogs and a wide number of international paper publications.