Author Archives: nr

Giuseppe Gabellone in Lyon

Memory Monument

Eager to honour the memory of the under-privileged that they care for on a daily basis, Les Petits frères des Pauvres asked an artist to design a memorial monument in a cemetery. At the time of death, these destitute people are sometimes entitled to a burial plot granted by the city council for a period of six years, but their graves are rarely cared for when they have one. By dedicating a place for collective memory to them, Les Petits frères des Pauvres wanted to signify their belief in the unique value of each life.

Although it is a classic subject in art history, the funeral monument is unusual for artists of Guiseppe Gabellone’s generation. He chose to produce a secular monument that evokes death without resorting to sacred iconography typical of funerary statuary. At the same time he wanted to respect the atmosphere of the place, specific to 19th century French and Italian cemeteries.

The monument consists of two abstract glass modules placed on a white stone plinth that covers two vaults. The plinth is designed to retain rainwater and produce the effect of a mirror. The names of the deceased will be written on the front corner blocks.

The idea is to use the earth as a mold for the glass sculptures, “To make a solid form out of a cavity…as if to capture memory, translate the idea of memory.”

credits: Guiseppe Gabellone

Presentation folder: August 2012 – pdf

Commissioned by Les Petits frères des Pauvres
commission on hold
credits: Guiseppe Gabellone

Lani Maestro in Bataville , Lorraine


Le site de Bataville est né en 1931 à l’initiative de Tomáš Bata, fondateur du groupe industriel du même nom. Il compte 2 700 ouvriers en 1939, 840 en 2001. La délocalisation des activités en 2002 débouche sur le licenciement de 800 personnes. Au moment de la commande quelques entreprises étaient implantées sur le site qui accueillait aussi l’ancienne Communauté de communes du Pays des étangs, installée dans l’ancien magasin d’usine.

En 2010, Bataville entre dans une phase intermédiaire de son évolution. L’association La Chaussure Bataville, en collaboration avec les collectivités locales, a souhaité développer un projet culturel et économique qui accompagne cette mutation. Comment faire coexister la mémoire encore vive d’une cité organisée autour du travail à l’usine et la possibilité d’autres usages ?

Lani Maestro envisage sa proposition comme l’«antithèse du lieu et du travail industriels» et comme un espace collectif. Limen — mot latin qui signifie « seuil », «passage d’un état vers un autre » — est le titre de cette sculpture. C’est une structure ajourée composée d’une longue plateforme surmontée d’une charpente de bois. Elle évoque le tunnel et le pont par le rythme régulier de ses travées et sa fonction de passage.

L’œuvre invite à la promenade et au repos comme « manière d’être avec soi-même », s’anime de notre présence et de celle des autres. Elle est installée entre l’ancienne cantine et le site de production, près d’un

communiqué de presse, avril 2014 – pdf

commanditaires : Commune de Moussey, d’anciens salariés des usines Bata et association La Chaussure Bataville

soutien : Parc naturel régional de Lorraine dans le cadre du programme européen LEADER (Fonds européen agricole pour le Développement rural), Fondation de France, Drac Lorraine, Région Lorraine, Département de la Moselle


crédits photographiques Phoebé Meyer

Liliana Motta in Bataville

In pursuit of the Paysage industriel (Industrial landscape) programme carried out in partnership with Lorraine Regional Nature Park and the commissioning of a guide plan by Notre Atelier Commun, the former Pays des Étangs Community of Communes wished to reflect on pollution issues at the Bataville site.

A phytoremediation studio has been set up with the Le Laboratoire du Dehors (Outside Laboratory). Its approach consists in particular in experimenting with “economical management solutions capable of gradually building an original structure by transforming the premises through gardeners’ gestures.” The action goes beyond the site and opens up onto big landscape, up to the canal. For her research, the artist wished to connect with the Lorraine University Soils and Environment Laboratory – UMR 1120, under Geoffrey Serré’s direction: Doctor, Geological Engineer, ENSAIA lecturer.

The way through Bataville’s polluted lands

 “Many of these sites are considered polluted because products that alter or compromise their quality and proper use have been identified in the soil, the subsoil and possibly in the groundwater…(…) This pollution is likely to become a nuisance or a long-term risk for people and the environment, it is important not to forget these polluted lands, not to hide them from contemporaries and future generations. And this is why we have to experiment, take care of this land, make it alive again (…).”

A path was built along the meadow following the alignment of the willows in parallel, and crossing the woods to reach the Canal. This construction was accompanied by spatial analysis, traces of the past, soil quality, visible and invisible pollution, of the vegetation in presence. 

It is by looking towards Bataville that we see the Canal. This landscape setting establishes a link between the Bataville site, the ponds/ lakes, the canals and the forest.

The ambition was also to restore the old factory landscape with a new identity built from its geographic and sensitive territory.

The path can be maintained by school groups or technicians from the commune.

Read: Report and conclusions/ Bataville landscape as experience – The way.

Bataville, le paysage comme expérience – le cheminement – juin 2017 – pdf


soutien : la communauté de communes du Pays des étangs, Fondation de France


Notre Atelier Commun in Bataville

As part of the Industrial Landscape programme led with the Lorraine Regional Nature Park, the Pays des Étangs Community of Communes and different local associations wished to continue their reflection on the industrial memory of the Bataville site in Moselle. After an initial commission awarded to Lani Maestro, whose work Limen was inaugurated in 2014, Notre Atelier Commun was commissioned to develop a guide plan.

How can Bataville survive without Bata? Aside from the necessary reconversion of the old working class city, a whole model of society needs to be reinvented. Aware that the site’s evolution had to be based on a finer understanding of values inherited from the past and on new uses, the Patrons wanted to conduct a prefigurative study to secure the transition of patrimony between past, present and future.

Notre Atelier Commun’s response first took shape during the working process. Convinced that one must live in a place to understand it, and that one cannot imagine a future at a distance without the residents and the territory’s protagonists, NAC settled in Bataville for a year and initiated about ten public meetings with the Fairground University between October 2015 and September 2016.

The guide plan, submitted in September 2016, builds on these discussions to propose three major directions: making Bataville a space of freedom and innovation favourable to new emerging systems; creating connections between people (newcomers, residents, former employees) and between activities so that the site becomes a common, shared space; reclaiming know-how by reconnecting with the craft industry and promoting small-scale production.

Plan guide plan’s conclusion et des mains

Financial Partners: Natural regional Parc / Lorraine, communauté de communes du Pays des étangs, la Fondation de France / New Patrons Program

Jessica Stockholder in Toulouse

Los Pès del parpalhòl (The butterfly’s feet)

At the request of the associative school Calandreta Còsta Pavada (Occitan-French bilingual school), Jessica Stockholder created a practical work, a play and living space.

In 2007, in association with the teachers and activity leaders, the parents of pupils commissioned a work for the school yard to promote sensory experiences, meeting and exchange for children between three and ten years old. The sculpture should be capable of embodying some of the school’s founding ideas: a spirit of tolerance, curiosity, openness to foreign languages and cultures.

Jessica Stockholder’s proposal comprises a “workable” sculpture made in bright colours and varied materials: marble, wood, Corian, concrete and brick. It is composed of a set of geometric forms of low height that unfold and are organised around a central point covered by a rectangular structure in plasticized sheet metal. This structure can act as a space for play/ self-staging, and shows volume and passage. The floor drawing in aluminium near the red marble disc, as well as the shape of the larch planter, take elements from the Occitan cross. “The Occitan cross is quite abstract in the work,” writes Stockholder. “I’m responding to the fact that it wasn’t present anywhere in the school when I visited it (…).”

The Calandreta Còsta Pavada school could not finally accommodate the work. It was agreed to donate it to the town of Toulouse and to install it in the Musée des Abattoirs hemicyle, near the educational workshops/ studios.

dossier de presse, avril 2013 – pdf

commanditaire : association Calandreta Còsta Pavada, Toulouse

Soutien : Fondation de France / Nouveaux commanditaires, ministère de la Culture et de la Communication (DGCA, DRAC Midi-Pyrénées), Ville de Toulouse,

Patron: Calandreta Còsta Pavada association, Toulouse

Funding: Fondation de France / New Patrons, Minister of Culture and Communnication (DGCA, DRAC Midi-Pyrénées), the town of Toulouse, Syndicat mixte des Abattoirs


crédits photographiques Jessica Stockholder (toutes) sauf Jean-François Peiré–Drac Midi-Pyrénées (9)

Investigation of the/our Outside – Valence-le-Haut, 24th April 2012

Alejandra Riera with neighbourhood users and residents. 

The Fontbarlettes quarter is part of the Valence-le-Haut complex, known as a coherent new city project in the 1960’s, though ultimately the scheme remained unfinished. The patrons, noting a stigmatisation of the neighbourhood, wanted to give the locals a voice, understand how they appropriated the space and their perception of a bigger “outside” likely to invite different interpretation.
Alejandra Riera made several visits to Valence during which she spoke at length with neighbourhood residents, proposed meetings, projected films and organised communal “actions” in different places. With these residents she conceived the filming sessions for her “film-document”. The result is a film and a publication, thought and produced simultaneously, but which function in an autonomous and complementary manner.
The film combines different images such as archives, text images and mises en scène with the residents. In her practice, Alejandre Riera calls “film-documents” a singular manner not only of making films, but of “exceeding” them, that is to say, “thinking of film-documents (…) as outside the scope of film itself, which would constitute a document of its time, adding to its own space the more uncertain space of historical, temporal, affective discontinuities.”
The publication presents itself like an investigative report. It is composed of retrieved pages ¬– the first notes on conversations with the residents – accompanied by footnotes written by Alejandra Riera and image plates with captions inviting new thought for reflection.
Throughout the film and the report, in the dialogue between plates and text, sounds and images, witness accounts, comments and citations, multiple passages become visible or probable, beyond the separation established between the supposed centre and its periphery.

press release, April 2012 – pdf

légende image : Vue partielle, 11 novembre 2008. Gare de Lyon, Paris, palmier en pot, «Butia Yatay, origine : Argentine, Brésil»

Investigation of the/our outside (Valence-le-Haut)) (2007-…) on the 24th April 2012, an image of collective thought on the place in which we live. Alejandra Riera with residents of the Fontbarlettes district.
Twelve Exchanges, “Footnotes” and thirty-nine images and captions
21 x 29.6cm, stitched notebooks, hardback, 352 pages.
800 copies
ISBN 978 2 953391275

Captures éditions   Captures éditions in partnership with art3, Valence.

commanditaires : des habitant(e)s de Fontbarlettes avec l’association Le MAT

L’Enquête sur le / notre dehors a été initiée dans le cadre de l’action Nouveaux commanditaires proposée par la Fondation de France.

médiation–production : Valérie Cudel / à demeure, en partenariat avec Imagine / Issy-les-Moulineaux et art3 / Valence

soutien : Fondation de France, ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, Centre national des arts plastiques (Image-Mouvement) / DRAC Rhône-Alpes, Région Rhône-Alpes, Département de la Drôme

Michel Aubry, Pilat Regional Nature Park

La 213 429th Part of the World

The 213 429th Part of the World is Michel Aubry’s response to a commission given by the Iguerande association and the Pilat Regional Nature Park. It covers an area that retains few architectural traces of its metallurgy activity. All that remains is the notion of a dirty job in contact with black dust. There is a real working culture, however, in the manufacture of the finished object, as well as small companies whose specialization stems from ancient skills in the foundry and precision mechanics and locksmithing industries. How then to restore the place of an industry on the scale of a landscape whose resources have contributed to its development?

Michel Aubry’s proposal echoes the changes in Pilat’s sound environment with the installation of numerous forges, stones used for nailsmithing and subcontracting workshops for the valley’s main industry. Michel Aubry questions this sound footprint by making sound recordings inside the companies. These recordings lead to editioned vinyl records and the manufacture, by the Trouillet company in Saint-Julien-Molin-Molette, of a metal case intended to accommodate an instrument that integrates a pair of turntables and a mixer. It allows you to create compositions from engraved sounds and premixes from the samples.

The records are published in seven examples and assembled in two boxes. The work was performed during a concert performance by hip-hop scratcher Matthieu Crimersmois and dj artists on the 4th July 2014 in the Sainte-Julie factory at Saint-Julien-Molin-Molette.

press release, July 2014 – pdf

Patrons: Éric Perrin, historian and member of the Iguerande association, the Pilat Regional Nature Park
Funding : Fondation de France/ New Patrons programme, Vercors Regional Nature Park, European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: LEADER 2014


 Photographic credits: Marc Domage (2,3) and Emmanuelle Boccou


Eulàlia Valldosera in Rochechinard

From 1972 to 1991, the whole village of Rochechinard performed a light show at the foot of its castle. This is the context in which the Rochechinard museum was created – a tangible testimony to the attachment of a population to its history. Named the Royans Memory Museum, its collection is made up of what the locals have given or loaned to it for 40 years. However, the Rochechinard museum is going through a difficult period like most ecomuseums. Its museology could appear outdated and the team has noted a drop in attendance. The association Les amis de la maison de la Mémoire (Friends of the Memory House) approached artist Eulàlia Valldosera to address the issue of transmission – with, in time, the loss of orality that was at the heart of the initial project ¬– establish a double relation, spatial – circulation in the museum, link to the site – and temporal, objects from the past to those of today.
The initial proposition was based on two elements: an author’s film to be projected continuously in the so-called “well” room and the transformation of the museum into a centre for the creation and production of memory. This second step was suspended for political reasons.
The film not only claims to document a project by a group of local people wishing to preserve their local heritage, but also aims to highlight a film object, a current event that reanimates our past, a way to reactivate the potential hidden under layers of forgetfulness and prejudice.
Before the Light articulates different types of registers, ranging from documentary to fiction, and shows the mechanisms the artist used to get there. That is to say, the film crew, their intrusion in the house, the actors’ preparation and their improvised encounters with objects that would be used as props. This film looks at the present at the same time as it recreates the past from stories that members of L’Association créatrice de la maison de la Mémoire (Memory House Creative Association), its guards and interpreters, tell the camera: The anecdotes that they recount during guided tours when the camera is in the audience. This film proposes the medium of film as a form of archive.

The book, Rochechinard, Memory of a House-Museum, published at the end of 2019, is presented as an extension of the commission, an artist’s vision of the transformation of the museum and the state of researchers’ questioning, professionals on the future of these places.
Patrons: Members of the board of directors of Amis de la Maison de la mémoire de Royans association, Alain Derbier, founder of the Rochechinard museum, Mireille Gepponi, Catherine Flament, Jeanne Charve, Josette Derbier, Roland Meunier
Funding: Fondation de France/ New Patrons Programme, former Pays du Royans Community of Communes

Avant la lumière

commanditaires : les membres du conseil d’administration de l’association des Amis de la Maison de la mémoire de Royans, Alain Derbier, fondateur du musée de Rochechinard, Mireille Gepponi, Catherine Flament, Jeanne Charve, Josette Derbier, Roland Meunier

soutien : Fondation de France / action Nouveaux commanditaires, ancienne Communauté de communes du Pays du Royans


crédits : Eulàlia Valldosera

Riez / Assemble Studio

Riez is a village that comes alive mostly during the summer period and lacks a cultural life during the other ten months of the year. The patrons wish to create a space that provides a cultural life of quality for rural areas throughout the year.  

The Big Top is an artwork linked to Riez’s historical Roman heritage and is a place that will be used to host artistic and cultural events: theatre, dance, cinema, music, conferences and meals.

Its annual operating will be linked with the Cercle des Oiseaux activity in partnership with Le Moulin à Projets, an association created in 2018 to create a living space inspired by the La Borde psychiatric establishment founded by Doctor Jean Oury. Le Moulin à Projets provides a home and structure for adults who no longer need psychiatric hospitalization, but who nevertheless need support in everyday life.

If The Big Top and the Food Truck (operating in July and August for the past two years) are the structural elements of the living space, The Big Top is also a social tool for Riez’s inhabitants and neighbouring municipalities. As such, it must be mobile and easy to dismantle at a reasonable rate.

Assemble Studio responded positively to the commission. Joe Halligan and James Binning are the two architects in charge of the commission.

presentation – pdf

Patrons: Claudine Aulino, Gaëlle Duplat, Geraldine Manivet, Mademoiselle K

crédits photographiques : DR

George Trakas in Lamelouze (Gard)

Du sec à l’eau (Dry to Wet)

The village of Lamelouze, situated in the Galeizon valley north of Alès, is part of the Cévennes National Park. Many professional and cultural associations are located there, with whom the municipality keeps a close partnership.

In 2009, the commune invited the Sentiers association to carry out artistic experiments on 14 hectares of communal land, situated between the 11th century church of Sainte-Cécile and the Galeizon river. The former landowner had begun a forestry operation and created an arboretum.

On the initiative of several residents, the Sentiers association and the Lamelouze Commune asked Georges Trakas to design a practical work for this space, which offers the only public access to the river. The request is part of a desire to enhance the land and its landscape, and its quality as a common space in the geographic and social organisation of the commune so that it is “recognised” by all – Lamelouze residents as well as occasional users.

After a visit in August 2015, George Trakas wrote, “I felt the project was destined for me. The commission appealed to me and it was right, because I fell in love with the locals and their history.”

During a second stay during summer 2016, acting on his initial intuitions and observations, George Trakas proposed a path to access the Galeizon as well as a simple installation between the arboretum and the river.

A study book combining texts and drawings was published by Captures éditions. It retraces the artist’s reflection – related to his career and works – his approach guided by the human dimension of places. The selection of George Trakas’ drawings and technical data for the creation of Du sec à l’eau  (Dry to Wet) offers a pragmatic and poetic approach to the commissioned work.

Le 28 mai 2019, Du sec à l’eau a reçu le prix « Initiatives citoyennes et environnementales » par le CAUE du Gard.