This installation is a cubic pavilion, using the form of the cube as a way to examine the psychic and physical duality of the individual. The pavilion is a mirrored mise en abyme that can be experienced in two ways.
At first, upon entering the heart of the sculpture, the viewer is confronted with an image of their body reflected into infinity. This technique recalls Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room, except that here the universe we step into is neutral and therefore the viewer’s body takes authority in its omnipresence. Man is thus confronted by his all-powerful “I” in an almost disturbing way. The light in the central cube then progressively dims in the two-way mirror while intensifying in the peripheral space between the two cubes.
The pavilion can also be experienced as a new dimension that physically excludes the viewer through an optical effect combining light, standard mirrors and two-way mirrors. The viewer finds their image plunged into an infinite space leading them to confront themselves from a new perspective: that of the mind.
Immersion throws the visitor off balance by making them lose all points of reference. This experience challenges the viewer by disrupting time and space while at the same time being an underlying critique on dematerialisation that provokes a displacement of points of contact and an alteration of our system of representation. Information and communication technologies contribute to modifying the perception a person has of reality.
This new perception reverberates through the relationships that people maintain with memorial traditions and places they consider sacred. New technologies, by introducing feelings of dematerialisation and synchrony and by fostering a replacement of human memory with computer memory, call for a compensatory reaction, expressed by the growing number of memorial spaces dedicated to past events.
Immersion is therefore a reflection on the influence of architecture on the human being. In fact, a building can have an effect on the mind, on emotions and on behaviour. It is the duty of architecture to conceive spaces that stimulate creativity, attention and further still relaxation and communion.
Immersion, through its cubic form and its proportions, offers two interpretations. It can be seen simultaneously as a critique on the construction of social housing and other apartment blocks in the Seventies as well as an appraisal of minimalist forms.
In fact, to observe Immersion in its entirety, one must circumnavigate the structure before entering it, thereby establishing a relationship between the viewer, the artwork and the entire space. This calls to mind the polyhedrons of Tony Smith, that similarly create a physical interaction with the viewer.
In creating a perfectly symmetrical pavilion whose dimensions are inspired by the geometric properties of the universe while also respecting the laws of proportionality – where each part is equal to the whole – this experiment reminds the viewer that he too is an individual belonging to a whole: humanity. Thus, this structure resembles the religious edifices whose purpose is to increase the energetic potential of visitors, which according to us should be the ultimate ambition of all architecture.
Poetic Opening by Franck Piepers
« The best mirror does not reflect the other side of things »
We are hundreds of thousands of years ago, in the infancy of humanity.
Under a crushing light, Sapiens has wandered for many hours among his fellow beings. For him, time does not exist, only thirst giving rhythm to his progress.
He studies the first inert wave coming toward him.
As he examines his reflection, awareness washes over
him and drowns him in cognitive reality.
What was his first emotion ?
« An encounter is only the beginning of a separation. »
We are in the 21 st century, a slasher advances on the pavements of his city, crystalline lenses immersed in connected glass. As he evolves in
his bubble of unawareness, Immersion rises against him.
The mirrored cube suspends this project on the adolescent.
An airlock door opens, curiosity beckons, the box closes again,
darkness overwhelms him, and silence falls over him.
The echo of a photon indicator starts in the confined space.
The individual recovers his sight, his « ego » is projected on six sides,
his solitude is now at the epicenter of a multitude.
Suddenly, the projection becomes incomprehensible.
The six acolytes vanish at the speed of light, while the quantum infinite enters. Lost, the actor knows he is no more. In the absence of being able to seek himself, he begins a quest for the truth.