27 September 2014

INTERVIEW: ARNAUD LAPIERRE

– In cooperation with Olympus –Arnaud Lapierre_RING Installation Arnaud Lapierre_RING Installation
"RING" by Arnaud Lapierre, courtesy and copyright the artist

Anna-Lena Werner: Arnaud, how and when did you decide to work as an artist and designer?
Arnaud Lapierre: I don't really know – I have always been attracted to art and to objects. First I studied the History of Art & Archeology, but then I changed to design studies, because I wanted to tell stories through objects and space. However, I don't consider myself an artist.

Anna-Lena: Your work crosses the boundaries between art, design and scenography. Do you consider each direction equally important for your practice? How do they influence each other?
Arnaud: I don't see boundaries in these activities, because all are a support or a medium for being creative and telling or showing something unexpected. I have always considered my profession a way of expressing a delicate answer to a pertinent question. Looking at other graphic and contemporary art, or even contemporary dance and cinema is interesting in order to understand our societies. Although I always tried to banish existing designs from my inspiration, since I don't want to repeat myself or the work of someone else.

Anna-Lena: You created a collection of furniture pieces and a light installation for Palais de Tokyo this year. What idea motivated you to combine these materials?
Arnaud: Designer's Days Paris and Palais de Tokyo invited me and other designers to create work from the so-called 'Connectors' designed by Jerome Dumetz. This work was a happening for which I was asked to do a collection of furniture live – in front of the audience. As the challenge was to only play with the 'Connectors', I decided to design a very simple range of pieces: A V-shape that can be turned into every kind of function. Black colour highlighted the visible surface and the contact with the body, wood added structure and I used other colours for the mechanics and fastenings.

Anna-Lena: Your massive mirror-installation the "RING" has been shown several places – currently it is exhibited at the OLYMPUS Photography Playground in Cologne. What was your initial idea when you approached the making of this work?
Arnaud: Initially, the "RING" was shown in Paris during the FIAC 2011, right at the Place Vendôme. Later it was exhibited in Madrid, in Milan, in Brussels and in Alençon, while a smaller version was installed in Shanghai. And now the RING has been set up in Cologne. The idea was to work with the context of urban space networking: the rhythm, the flow, the organisation and the spatial hierarchy. The installation implements and embodies a visual effect, which connects all of these simultaneous interactions. The repetition of a cubic mirror literally breaks the perception of space. It is dynamic, because it changes the relationships between individuals their surroundings. You develop another perception of the environment and a defragmented vision of yourself. You loose all your points of reference. As with my objects, I like it when users or visitors have to participate in the creation through their own action, or by their appropriation of the installation or the object. I like this relationship between the public and spaces

Anna-Lena: The surrounding architecture, nature and people who come close to the object are automatically included in this work. How do you balance participatory strategies and aesthetic solutions in your art?
Arnaud: I always work with a context: a chair, a lamp or an installation are always related to the environment or to people who will live with them. It helps me to define my concept and to propose solutions. Then the piece is free to be used – its function and perception escape from me.

Anna-Lena: How do you expect your art to manipulate the audience’s perception?
Arnaud: I just want to create an experience – if it happens to be different then it is fine for me. I don't want to be directive or to impose a certain view. 

Anna-Lena: If money and complexity wouldn’t matter: what installation would you like to create?
Arnaud: I would like to create a more complex and sophisticated version of several RINGS. These should be merged and mixed, so that the audience could enter from different levels of perception and experience a multiplication of images. I would also like to create another installation with mirrors, lights and glass. But for now, I hope to find a more permanent place for the RING. 

Anna-Lena: What are your upcoming plans for projects and exhibitions?
Arnaud: I am currently working on different design projects for furniture editions and design objects. And this year my work will be shown at Paris Design Week and at Skopje Design, for which I was invited by the French Embassy.


OLYMPUS PHOTOGRAPHY PLAYGROUND
11.09. - 05.10. 2014
Opening Hours: daily 12-20 h

at
JACK IN THE BOX
VOGELSANGER STR. 231
KÖLN

Olympus Photography Playground: photographyplayground.olympus.de
Artist's website: arnaud-lapierre.com

Arnaud Lapierre_RING Installation
"RING" by Arnaud Lapierre, courtesy and copyright the artist
– In cooperation with Olympus –
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