Floating temporarily over small European cities or balancing in floating canoes on a river are elaborate bridges that can be built and demolished in a few days. The ongoing work of Olivier Grossetête, the pieces of cardboard and tape are entirely handcrafted by the French artist and local residents. Any ephemeral installation that Grossetête describes as “utopian buildings, temporary and useless” appears only a day or two before it is dismantled and the audience is asked to step on the cardboard and destroy it. “It’s an integral part of the project,” says the artist in a statement. “This symbolic moment is fun.” During the exhibition, the architectural works are often tied between hot air balloons and existing buildings, which makes them float dreamily over the urban landscape.
Grossetête has been using the inexpensive, flexible material for more than ten years because it is easy to handle and the installations spring open and can be removed again relatively quickly. “Despite its looks, it has extraordinary capacities and is very light. It doesn’t scare anyone off and enables me to open my practice to the greatest possible number of people, ”he says, explaining that it is also a symbol for cultural signifiers. “It is the symbol of falsehood and appearances! I like this parallel between architecture, an instrument of power, and the wrong, the appearance. “
Grossetête currently lives in Jausiers in the Alpes de Hautes Provences and is going to 23 milhas In , Portugal for its next installation, which will be on view from July 31st to August 1st. You can explore his works on for over a decade his side.
Are stories and artists like this important to you? To become something Colossal member and support independent art publications. Join a community of like-minded readers passionate about contemporary art and support ours Interview series, get access to partner discounts and much more. Join now!