Those out there looking for things to do this summer: it may be nice to consider investing some of your time in absorbing art and design. Need a suggestion? Here it goes: There’s a brand new open-air art centre on display from the 2nd of July to the 2nd of October 2016, at the MAMO centre at Cité Radieuse, Marseille. It is an art project called “à ciel ouvert”. Take a look.
MAMO is an open-air art centre located on the top of la Cité Radieuse – a housing residence designed by Le Corbusier in 1952. This new contemporary art centre includes indoor and outdoor spaces, and re-uses the former gym, running track and solarium of Le Corbusier’s.
In 2013 the roof was converted into an exhibition space by french designer Ora-Ïto, who has now invited artist Felice Varini to highlight different architectural viewpoints of the terrace.
The exhibition features Felice Varini’s multiple perspectives at the MAMO centre by painting striking shapes across the terrace. The “à ciel ouvert” project references Le Corbusier’s distinct style, using modular forms which work harmoniously with the modernist construction.
Red and yellow are the primary colours used to accentuate different parts of the interior and exterior of the building. This presents an added architectural layer.
In the words of Varini “A viewpoint is a point in the space that I choose carefully: it is usually situated at my eye level and preferably located in a key passageway, for example where one room leads to another, a landing, etc. I don’t make a rule of it, as spaces don’t all systematically have an obvious path. The choice is often arbitrary. The viewpoint will function like a point of interpretation, that is, like a potential starting point to approach the painting and the space. The painted form makes sense when the spectator is in this spot. When the spectator leaves the viewpoint, the work encounters the space generating an infinite number of views of the shape. Therefore I do not see the accomplished work through this first point; this is encompassed in all the views that the spectator may have of it.”
This little piece of Corbusian heritage is being turned into an international art centre.
Felice paints on architectural and urban spaces, such as buildings, walls, and streets. The paintings are characterized by one vantage point from which the viewer can see the complete painting (usually a simple geometric shape such as circle, square, line), while from other view points the viewer will see ‘broken’ fragmented shapes. Varini argues that the work exists as a whole – with its complete shape as well as the fragments. “My concern,” he says “is what happens outside the vantage point of view.”