Opening of “L’Abri-premier” exhibition
Lieu : Conservatoire Département Arts visuels École des Beaux Arts de Saint Omer
4 Rue Alphonse de Neuville, 62500 Saint-Omer, France
October 4 @ 19h00 – 21h30
By the conservatoire visual arts department of the école Beaux Arts De SAint-Omer
Housing is one of man’s fundamental needs. In fact, one of the criteria for extreme poverty is often the absence of housing. In his treatise on architecture in the first century BC, Vitruvius developed the idea of the primitive hut as the origin of architecture. The photographs by Nils Udo, an artist who creates constructions that are both ‘simple’ and often architecturally rigorous, using only elements found on site, are part of this experience of an original shelter.
While the first dwellings met a need for protection, as time went on, the spaces were divided up to provide greater intimacy. The original habitat, seen as a cocoon, is at the origin of the Lit Clos by the Bouroullec brothers. A contemporary version of this traditional Breton piece of furniture, the Lit Clos questions the link between inside and outside, between the need for privacy and the need for social interaction. Its sleek lines are reminiscent of the original cocoon, while at the same time drawing on the forms of minimal art. Conceived as a cell of isolation, it can be assembled, dismantled and moved easily within the living space.
This perception of housing as a cell is reflected in the problems associated with nomadic populations. Bruno Serralongues’ photographs show the precarious shelters that are springing up around Calais following the closure of the Sangatte centre. Bruno Serralongues’ images deal with one of the major issues facing our contemporary societies, and the consequences of climate change: the displacement of populations. In an emergency, people build makeshift shelters in the shape of small caves, made from the discarded objects of contemporary society.
It is interesting to note that the cell is both the basic element of a living organism and the basic unit of housing. In the field of housing, it can be self-sufficient, or it can grow and multiply to allow modularity of needs and spaces. This basic unit is at the source of the first human habitats and is coming back to the fore in emergency situations, but also as a response to the architecture of spaces and human needs.