Author Archives: nr

Daniel Buren in Toulouse

A work for the Purpan site – Hospital Complex

Several years’ ago, Purpan hospital began a complete overhaul of its site by opening several establishments between 1990 and 2006 and the arrival of the tramway at the end of 2010. The construction of the Pierre-Paul Riquet clinic and the Urgence-Réanimation-Médecine building is an opportunity to commission a work from an artist. The central concern is the question of hospitality. Emphasis is placed on the need to identify flows for hospital users, to organise the passage to the interior from the tramway stop and to reflect on the halls while developing a common identity for the two buildings.

After an observational phase looking at the sites and their uses, Daniel Buren chose to concentrate his intervention on the URM and PPR reception halls, and on the bridge that connects the two buildings.

10 Cadres carrés pour un patio (Ten Square Frames for a Patio), permanent in situ work, Urgences-Réanimation-Médecines building reception hall, Purpan site, Hospital complex, Toulouse university, 2013-2015

Inside the patio, three square three-dimensional frames spread out from the street-side façade, accelerating the perspective. Blue, yellow, red – each one is connected to a second on an open angle equal to that formed by the two glass walls on the street side (hall entrance) and corridor side (access to other services). The four frames opposite the windows are projected and laminated onto the windows with white adhesive strips.

Le Puits de lumière en 5 couleurs et sur 5 étages (Skylights in 5 Colours and on 5 Floors), permanent in situ work, Pierre-Paul Riquet reception hall, Purpan site, Hospital complex, Toulouse university, 2013-2015

The square space inside the entrance hall with its series of windows is worked in volume: Blue, yellow, orange, red and green tablets, punctuated by white stripes highlight the square form and follow one another up to the ceiling of this empty space. These five frames, superimposed on one another, like light boxes (each illuminating the upper box), become the main lighting for the Pierre-Paul Riquet Hospital entrance hall.

Bayadère pour 3 couleurs et 2 bandes blanches (Bayadère for 3 Colours and 2 White Stripes), permanent work in situ, bridge – Hospital Pierre-Paul Riquet / Urgences-Réanimation-Médecines building, Purpan site, hospital complex, Toulouse University, 2013-2015

The bridge that links the Emergency Services building to the Medical Imaging Department (situated at the heart of PPR) is used to indicate the flux between the two spaces. The windows are entirely recovered with self-adhesive paper and divided into sequences of 43.5cm width, successively blue, yellow and red, then composed of 5 alternating strips (white and transparent) of 8.7cm.

This large frieze diffuses its coloured light into the passage used exclusively by patients and caregivers. It is visible from outside day and night (on the tramway side and at the back of the buildings) like a kind of luminous horizontal lantern.

Patrons: Purpan Site (CHU), Toulouse

Funding: Fondation de France New Patrons Programme, Hospital Complex, Toulouse.

Photo-souvenir : 10 Cadres carrés pour un patio, travail in situ permanent, hall d’accueil du bâtiment Urgences-Réanimation-Médecines, site Purpan, Centre hospitalier universitaire de Toulouse, 2013-2015. Détail. Septembre 2015. © Daniel Buren/ADAGP, Paris. Photo : Phoebé Meyer

Photo-souvenir : Le Puits de lumière en 5 couleurs et sur 5 étages, travail in situ permanent, hall d’accueil de l’hôpital Pierre-Paul Riquet, site Purpan, Centre hospitalier universitaire de Toulouse, 2013-2015. Détail. Septembre 2015. © Daniel Buren/ADAGP, Paris. Photo : Phoebé Meyer

Photo-souvenir : Bayadère pour 3 couleurs et 2 bandes blanches, travail in situ permanent, passerelle hôpital Pierre-Paul Riquet / bâtiment Urgences-Réanimation-Médecines, site Purpan, Centre hospitalier universitaire de Toulouse, 2013-2015.
Détail. Septembre 2015. © Daniel Buren/ADAGP, Paris. Photo : Phoebé Meyer




Élisabeth Ballet, Pilat Regional Nature Park

Situated in the Pilat Regional Nature Park near Saint-Etienne, the town of Bourg-Argental has retained the imprint of a textile activity developed there since the 16th century. Everything needed for textile production was in evidence – milling, warping, weaving, braiding, ribbon making; buildings linked to the industry made a strong mark on the landscape.

The project, initiated by the town of Bourg-Argental, is part of the Industrial Landscape programme unfolding in the four regional nature parks of Pilat, Monts-d’Ardèche, Lorraine and Vercors. Residents and elected officials wished to highlight the industrial past and make the conscious and unconscious traces of the textile industry legible. It is a question of addressing spaces created by the destruction of certain buildings in line with architecture still in existence.

Élisabeth Ballet initially conducted a meticulous investigation to collect data on weaving and ribbon making, but also to reread, spatially, Bourg-Argental’s industrial history. The places she identified could not be used (either inaccessible or decreed flooded, by the state), so in 2013, the commune invited her to invest in a central space that was the former site of the Jarrosson textile factory.

Élisabeth Ballet’s work takes shape in this space and goes beyond, including a trail that retraces the town’s textile activity, as well as a book.

  1. Jarrosson Square: finding a purpose.

The first thing to do is to clear the original factory space by removing everything that obstructs the square, and reveal the original gate and surrounding wall at the bottom of the garden. “Then the square will turn into a pedestrian agora, the garden part raised like a stage, opens onto the town and is visible to everyone.”

On the ground, granite paving will depict weaving in motion across its entire length, then continue past the route nationale, to suggest that weaving gave work to the whole town with some fifty factories and studios dedicated to textile.

  1. The trail through the town.

With the help of Mr. Michel Linossier, former weaving combs manufacturer, Élisabeth Ballet located a large section of the missing workshops street by street, and drew a map to guide the visitor on his/ her journey through the town. An enamelled sign serves as a landmark at each site.

  1. The Book

Because a physical artwork cannot reveal the work of research, Élisabeth Ballet wanted to produce a book to restore the profile of weaving spaces. “It will be divided into one part for drawing, another for the archives and interviews.  I have collected instruction books, sample books and more technical archives on the practice of weaving….My objective is to show, through the progressions of words, a changing profession, through images, which is emblematic of places and practices in a factory that was witness.”

Patrons: The commune of Bourg-Argental, represented by mayor Stéphane Heyraud and deputy mayors.

Funding: Pilat Regional Nature Park, within the European LEADER programme (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development), Fondation de France /New Patrons, the town of Bourg-Argental

In Progress



Susanne Bürner, Lorraine Regional Nature Park


The Euville quarries on the edge of Meuse are an emblematic part of Lorraine. The exploitation of limestone until the beginning of the 20th century left many traces: vestiges of industrial exploitation, buildings and tools from different eras, remains of the old quarrymen’s village.

Owned by the Pays de Commercy (group of communes), the site is in the process of becoming a major tourist attraction site. The patrons wanted the creation of an enduring work that could encourage reflection on the quarry landscape’s transformations.

Avoiding an over-documentary restitution of places and traces of life, Susanne Bürner prefers to underline the mysterious aspects and the fictional potential. Her proposal takes shape over three media: a book, a film and photographs.

The book, Euville tackles the human side of quarry history. The first section presents photographs taken by the artist inside old extraction galleries, followed by texts by Pierre Briot and Jean-Paul Streiff retracing daily life in a quarry. It includes images of graffiti drawn by workers on the walls of the galleries, accompanied by short stories collected by Susanne Bürner.

The film Pierre et Poussière (Stone and Dust) dwells on the imaginary dimension of the place – we follow two teenage girls who explore landscapes structured by previous activities, but also sites that are on the verge of disappearing: the café, the old washhouse….

The Cavaliers (The Cavaliers) photographic prints show the evolution of the landscape since the cessation of activity and the extent of vegetation. Two images in black and white punctuate a series that through its presentation suggests the story of a ramble. The eye discovers, over points of view, clues, reminiscent in small touches, of the industrial past. However doubts may persist about the origin of the landscapes.

press, october 2012 – pdf

Pierre et Poussière

Les Cavaliers


Captures éditions, en partenariat avec le Vent des forêts—espace rural d’art contemporain et l’office de tourisme du Pays de Commercy

commanditaires : Office de tourisme et Communauté de communes du Pays de Commercy

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 Meuse


crédits photo/vidéo Susanne Bürner, Phoebé Meyer 

Marie-Ange Guilleminot in Gaillac

The Space Between!

“An artist could invent a work for the children that we receive to introduce a minimum, vital, of disorder that provokes thought.” The Medico Pyschological Centre for children and adolescents ­– independent of the hospital – is an interface of social ties and the psyche, of the social and clinical subjects: A place of circulation and of interception of flux from the vast world, of suspension also…The waiting room appears as an intermediary space between the treatment itself and the outside world, officiating like these anti-chambers where one whispers before speaking. To think of a work for the CMPEA would be to allow children who are dealing with digital technology too soon and too much – often impoverishing thought – an unedited emotional and intellectual encounter.”

Washitsu or Cabin in Time

Sculpture with dismountable architecture in wavy maple. Installed in the current waiting room, it compliments Meuble-spirale (Spiral Furniture). Its minimal conception around the unit of a tatami (rush-covered straw mat forming a traditional Japanese floor covering) creates a unique space for the child. It is based on the attentive observation of the Japonese washitsu tradition, from which the artist sought essential form, with a single module….To preserve the spirit of the place ­– tokonomo – or the space for art – shoji –sliding doors in wood and Japanese paper reinforced with, here in felt, removable shutters.

…du meuble spirale au meuble infini…(…from spiral furniture to infinite furniture…)

Placed in the reception area, the Meuble-spirale (Spiral Furniture) aims to transform and be placed freely in the CMPEA location. Both a piece of furniture and a sculpture, hexagonal in shape, it is made out of fourteen mobile elements with colourful sides, with multiple, playful uses: library, drawing table, little theatre. The work is open to appropriation by its users; it is an invitation to creativity.

L’objet-étalon (Measuring Object)

Similar to the Meuble-spirale at life-size scale, L’objet-étalon is composed of fourteen autonomous elements. The idea of the scale is to be able to think with the object in your hands, of all sorts of combinations applicable to the furniture-sculpture. It is created with fourteen types of wood: refer to the colour chart for positioning the sides of the Meuble-spirale according to colour.


Washitsu or Cabin in Time: Yutaka Kawahara and Renaud Vergnais  (carpenters), Cécile Feilchenfeldt and Géraldine Odeyer

…du meuble spirale au meuble infini: Jacques Vignon
L’objet-étalon: Patrick Belle

Advice/ coordination: Paule Guérin, Murielle Hladik, Sabine Laurent, George-Henry Ser
Games/ spinning tops:  Philippe Dyon
Contribution to choice of books: Les Trois Ourses

Press folder, February 2017 – pdf

Patrons: CMPEA team, Gaillac – Karine Beziat, Éric Bousquet, Daniel Delbes, Sylvie Faure, Marie-Claude Garros, Sophie Mahenc, Fabienne Maviel, Marie-Josée Medale, Maria Puech-Maurel, Laurence Quercy, Pauline Ricard, Catherine Scarpulla, Sabine Vialettes, Vassiliki Xenoyanni

Funding: Fondation de France, Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation

Fondation Bon Sauveur d’Alby


Credits: Marie-Ange Guilleminot

Camille Henrot in Pailherols, Cantal

My montagne

Since the height of Antiquity, the Cantal mountains have been part of farmers’ lives by providing them with summer pastures for their livestock. For four months, men aged between 12 and 70 watched over the herd and the quality of cheese produced in a grandiose landscape with a harsh climate. These cowherds or “buronniers” were masters of a pastoral economy that has now disappeared.

Farmer Jean-Paul Soubeyre, wanted to honour the memory of these buronniers who left a deep mark on the social and economic life of these lands known as summer pastures or transhumant. Convinced of the need to “make an act of recognition” for these men, the Pailherols Commune and the Sauvegarde des burons du Cantal association joined forces to support him with his project.

The artist Camille Henrot was invited to imagine a work that bears witness to a powerful human story and to the close link between man, animal and landscape. This contemporary work is neither a monument to the dead nor a folkloric endeavour, but a part of the universal history of pastoral farming.

At the entrance to the village, in an enclosed garden, Le Vestiaire du berger (The Shepherd’s Hut) marks a symbolic departure point for a trek up to the summer pastures.  Forms suggestive of familiar objects recall the buronnier’s universe and work. The Vestiaire emphasizes the fact that these traditional objects are no longer in use, but also the possibility that this is only a temporary state. Then, like an invitation to roam, My Mountain spreads out along a hiking trail into the countryside. The artist created around forty sculptures inspired by the form of the fence or movable barrier used by the cowherds to corral their herds. Their forms reference the Trigrammes of I-Ching (The Book of Transformations), in which there are sixty-four combinations that describe the states of the world and their evolution. Here, in a confined space, the sculpture park appears as a constellation that recalls the universal contemplation of the starry heavens and sends us back to infinity. White in colour, the fences disappear into the snowy landscape in winter only to reappear again each spring.

Press release, June 2016-pdf

Patrons: Association pour la sauvegarde des burons du Cantal and the Pailherols Commune.
Mediation/ production: Valérie Cudel and Mari Linnman for the New Patrons Programme initiated by Fondation de France.
Funding: Fondation de France (New Patrons Programme), Fondation Carasso, Minister of Culture and Communication under Public Commission in partnership with DRAC Auvergne Rhône Alpes, Pailherols Commune, Cantal Department, Cère and Goul Communauté de communes, Association pour la sauvegarde des burons du Cantal.

Inauguration: June 2016
Press release, June 2016
Photographic credits: Phoebé Meyer


Christophe Terlinden, Emmanuel Lambion et Iwan Strauven à Beaumont, Puy-de-Dôme


The Beaumont municipality invited Christophe Terlinden and the TILF collective to rethink the connections that unite the city with its residents. In 2003, reflection began on the identity of this commune in the Clermont agglomeration, then in full evolution. This would comprise mixed housing construction, the creation of a green path, the Maison des Beaumontois, and an extension of the Chataigneraie (chestnut grove) protected wooded area.

These changes engender the need to re-qualify public spaces – in particular the historic centre – and to take action towards breaking the image of a dormitory town, open up neighbourhoods and encourage residents to rediscover their town.

Building on the recently created green path, Christope Terlinden teamed up with Emmanuel Lambion and Iwan Strauven to create a sculptural drawing that connects the city’s different strata. The PIETRO is a combination of pedestrian and metro. It constitutes four routes that are marked out by disks of enamelled lava, laid out like an urban network. Each path is identified by a separate colour – blue, red, yellow or white.

The routes are shown in the form of a metro map that is embedded in benches, placed at crossings and at the end of paths. The map also appears in a publication, a fold-out leaflet that presents a subjective perception of the Beaumont sites with eight drawings by Christope Terlinden on the verso.

PIETRO is a playful work with the ambition of promoting a different reading of the city for Beaumont residents as well as the occasional visitor.

press folder, November 2007 – pdf

plan du pietro, dessins verso Christophe Terlinden

Patrons: elected officials from the Beaumont municipality and members of the Ideas for Beaumont association.

Funding: Fondation de France (New Patrons Programme), Minister of Culture and Communication (DAP-DRAC Auvergne), the town of Beaumont.


Cécile Bart in Thiers

And rain, the sun

Located in the countryside in the locality of Chassignol near Thiers, Maison Arc-en-Ciel welcomes around fifty children from families in difficulty, all aged between 4 and 15 years old. The purpose of the institution is educational ­– to promote the well-being of children facing a difficult stage of life. Aware that the grey, walled-in façade of the institution conveys a negative image of confinement, the staff took collective action to restore the institution’s true social function.

The patrons discern that the surrounding wall ­– a transitional place between interior and exterior – should reveal the beauty inherent in their mission and not arouse rejection. Given the imbalance of the architectural structures, the entire complex must be harmonized to express a feeling of balance and peace. Maison Arc-en-Ciel must concretely rediscover the dimensions of colour and light ­– symbols of life reflected in its name.

The project’s various participants unanimously accept Cécile Bart’s proposal, and opt for changing the colour of the different buildings within the institution, choosing from a significant chromatic range. The blues and greens echo the natural park adjoining the institution; the red-browns create a structuring environment conducive to the hoped-for psychic reconstruction taking place within; the yellows bring their warmth and energizing potential. Each colour family comes in a gradient that runs along the buildings, not cutting them off from one another and strengthening the unity of all the constructions while taking into account their integration into the site.

Patrons: staff members of Arc-en-Ciel children’s home.

Funding: Fondation de France, Ministry of Culture and Communication for public procurement (DAP/ CNAP, DRAC Auvergne), Les Sœurs de la Charité de Nevers, Department of Puy-de-Dôme, Auvergne region, ADSEA, ADSEA works council, Proctor & Gamble France, Savings Bank of Auvergne and Limousin, Keim mineral paints.


book link

Following the creation of the work, rather than a catalogue, Cécile Bart wanted to design an artist’s book for children, those who first experience the work: And Rain the Sun! with contributions from Mona Thomas and Pierre Leguillon, édition art3.

Photographic credits: Audrey Marlhens, Catherine Savary