The House of Dust by Alison Knowles

Aurélie Pétrel

Paradoxe (Est. Ouest)
2017, variable dimensions
Concrete pillars, black bungee cord, direct prints (silk paper and steel)

Paradoxe (East, West) is one of the many forms of Aurélie Pétrel’s research into the work of architect Peter Eisenman. In his “Houses” series, realized at the same time as Alison Knowles’ poem, Eisenman subjected a cube to successive transformations, thereby establishing an architectural syntax and provoking the redefinition of architectural elements placed in diverse networks of relations. Like Alison Knowles, he thereby created a connection between language and architecture, and set in motion the shifting of forms and their transformation by multiple contexts. This is also applicable to Aurélie Pétrel, who considers the photographic image like a score that can be activated differently in each installation . But whereas Eisenman is guided by a logical rationalism that excluded the unforeseeable and the embodied, the work of Knowles countered this by welcoming randomness, chance, and organic forms. Aurélie Pétrel’s installation, which incorporates photographs taken while working in the Eisenman archives held at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, reflects this tension. Realized in the framework of a residency by Pétrel at the Collège de la Seine-Saint-Denis, this installation serves as a framework for workshops with college students, and is transformed as needed during work sessions. From September 2017 until June 2018, in the framework of the In Situ residency financed by the departement de la Seine-Saint-Denis, Aurélie Pétrel undertook an artist’s residency at the Politzer college of Montreuil. With the support of the Fonderie Darling, Montreal.