The exhibition En mode(s) béton was inaugurated this week-end at the Maison de l'Architecture of Paris. It presents a collaboration between Duperré, a famous fashion house, and the cement-maker Lafarge. This ends up with installations from the fashion students inspired by the material of concrete.
The people attending the inauguration is definitely a good part of the show, as it gives you a glimpse on the singularity of the parisian artistic youth. But as it's hard to describe, I'll skip the subject and stick to the exhibition itself.
Each piece is very different and it's interesting to see how each artist explored a different aspect of the material. It looks like concrete strikes a different chord with everyone. Strong ideas are explored, such as the hard and the soft (and the expectations of it), the fragile, the footprint (of a pillow!), the fragility of a thin skin of concrete, the fixed movement of a flexible fabric, the assemblage for a bigger object, the test of textures, and so on.
I felt as if the artists collected every details, flaws, and concrete happenings I'm the only one to see when I'm visiting my construction site. It is as if the DIY I'm doing at home to explore my coping with this liquid stone is presented here as art. Concrete is as much a structural material getting 10th floored buildings built as an artistic material full of surprises, exceptions, and specific outcomes.
The one above is my favourite piece: see the shaded space below? How good that would feel on a sunny summer!
Don't make me wrong, the exhibit is pretty small (I was done in about 45 minutes). And you've got to be Superman to be able to read the signs presenting each piece, as it's written in an 8px height or so.
Still, I definitely encourage you to go visit this exhibition. The theme is interesting and the works are amazing. So I won't say more; you have to see for yourself!