Ivry-sur-Seine (FR)

“Expériences Insulaires”
Group show
Curators: Attitudes Genève
(Jean-Paul Felley and
Olivier Kaeser)

Project presentation

For this project, Thu Van Tran stayed at the Abraxas’ architectures (ironically referred to by its inhabitants as le Palacio), a building put up in 1975 in Noisy-le-Grand by Ricardo Bofill, and which became notorious for its prison-like austerity. For six months, she met people who lived there, mostly from foreign communities, to share a little of their lives. This time would be used to build an archetype of a wooden boat, unable to set sail due to being in a concrete enclosure. The artist records her feelings about this place as being like a twofold exile: having been moved once to get there, people are trying to live with the Palacio, imagining that they are somewhere else. The result of a totalitarian utopian vision of architecture that considers Greco-Roman Antiquity as the provider of universal forms conducive to uniting all cultures. This structure elicits a clear response from the artist: create a symbolic retreat for everyone. So she focused on the human dimension of this clandestine project as a bulwark against the loss of cultural identity resulting from the Palacio.
Then from the roof of the Abraxas Architectures, the barque moved to the basement of the starshaped of the art center Le Credac, an architecture by Jean Renaudie at Ivry-sur-Seine (suburb in the south of Paris). In this way penetrating the site of a modernist project.