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Casino Luxembourg

18.1 — 28.4.2013 Artist residency

Des formes d'égale résistance

artist(s): Sophie Bélair Clément. With the collaboration of Julien Maire

Des formes d'égale résistance is an exhibition project by Sophie Bélair Clément realised for the "Aquarium" at Casino Luxembourg. This glass pavilion, designed by architect René Mailliet, in collaboration with Jean Prouvé, was annexed to the building façade in 1958/59. Researching the historical context of the architectural creation of this space, the trajectories of a rumour are enquired. According to this rumour, the structure of the pavilion was designed on the back of a beer-mat. Borrowed from the building principle developed by Jean Prouvé, the notion of "formes d'égale résistance" (forms of equal strength) leads one to ponder the relationship between the architectural framework and the work within, together with the significance of the documentation which created it. The shape and design result from these tensions.

With the collaboration of Julien Maire, artist.
Guest choreographer: Marie Claire Forté.


René Mailliet: So... That works, right? Well. I was in Milan, at the Triennale. And at the Triennale, I saw these construction elements and interior metallic elements by French exhibitors, and I asked:
- But who has done these marvellous things, ladies and gentlemen?
- Somebody called Jean Prouvé from Nancy.
- Ah!
So when I went by that way, I went to Nancy.

Philippe Schmit: Hmm...

RM: Nobody knew Prouvé. He'd had some problems with Aluminium. He worked for Aluminium, and they fell out and so he didn't have his workshops any more. I telephoned him, on his home number. And I had a meeting with him, in Metz, at the station Buffet.

PS: Oh yeah...

RM: ...but for the pavilion, it was for the pavilion...

PS: ...for the pavilion for the Exhibition...

RM: ...for the Exhibition. So we talked there. (Scrape of a chair, paper, paper.) So, the pavilion - here's a photo... And he took a Béierdeckel... how do you say that in French? How do they say it in English?

PS: Yes... a card...

RM: ...that you put underneath a beer glass...

PS: Oh yes... a beer mat, yes...

RM: Yes. He drew on that, and he said:
- Well. For me, I would see a construction with... (1)

(1) „Mailliet/Prouvé": interview between René Mailliet, Philippe Schmit and James Cumming. Audio document, 1997. Archives Modernes d'Architecture Lorraine, Nancy.

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