benoit chailleux


This series was part of  "Souvenirs" exhibition (may 2011) at the Institut d'Estudis Ilerdencs in Lleida (Catalonia, Spain), curated by Llorenç Rosanes. The exhibition included the work of : Michael AstLisa BoughterSteven BrooksBenoît ChailleuxAlexis GerardJim Hart and Claudia Luthi.

Landscape is conditioned by the car since several decades. Places dedicated to the car consume lots of space : speed needs very wide roads, lane changes with big curvature radiuses, engendering residual places. The dimensions of car require consequent car park areas. The city is build then in a meshing of roads and crossroads. Buildings of the traditional city bind the space of the street, while in the suburb, buildings are put disorderly on both sides by the roads. Commercial town planning becomes established around the strategic places constitued by  crossroads, radial roads or the exits of ring roads. That is what the visitor approaching the city perceives first. Here we are, the rear landscape of the city. These zones provide the city with the shopping districts when entering the city. This urban landscape is the result of the economic imperatives of our modern world. It is disconnected from the territory on which it is and is identical from a French city to an other. It does not form any more the street as in city center. It consists of a series of commercial sheds with big signs. The facades of these buildings exist only by their neon signs, in the style of Robert Venturi's sketch in " learning From Las Vegas " where we see a building with a neon sign: " I am a Monument ". What composes these city pieces they are not the facades of buildings but the successions of signs made to be the most visible possible since the road.

This work is about city parts of which we have no « souvenir ».


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