LA LUCE EXHIBITION at
From 14th to 23rd October, NEMO presents the exhibition La Luce at the Biennale Interieur in Kortrijk.
An amazing insight into Le Corbusier and Perriand’s archives to provide an understanding of their radical philosophy of light and the production process that has been fulfilled by NEMO for over 10 years. Sketches and photographs are presented along with prototypes of light fixtures that are now iconic: Potence Pivotante, Projecteur 165 and 365, Applique de Marseille, Lampe de Marseille, Escargot, Parliament, Borne Béton, Pivotante à poser and Applique à volet pivotant.
"The work between NEMO, the Fondation Le Corbusier and the Charlotte Perriand Archives was to fine-tune a benchmark of details, finishes and versions, without ever altering the essence of these products, without ever lapsing into nostalgia or reviving retro, without ever changing their unique spartan and sophisticated nature. For this reason, following research and selection work over the past few years, NEMO wanted to collect the unique material that we have been working with and to share it in a work that we find beautiful, useful and new", summarises director of NEMO, Federico Palazzari.
The Italian lighting design firm acts as a simple and modern interpreter of the luminaires by Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand. These were designed as definitive projects, produced exclusively for the architectures for which they were designed. The archives that have been drawn and photographed have become the precious basis for reviving the luminaires and making them accessible to everyone.
"The quality of these ideas is such that at times, simply a section, a sketch is enough to bring certain products, that immediately seem mature and correct, to life from the paper. Like for the Projecteur: a spotlight concealed beneath a concrete shell, designed with a side view and without any prototype available, but remarkably functional and complete," recalls the artistic director of the exhibition, Valentina Folli.
The rare archives that have been revealed give perspective to the functional stylistic ruptures of the two masters, like Perriand’s Potence Pivotante, designed 10 years before the one by Jean Prouvé. In the 1920s Charlotte Perriand, who was fascinated with light, used Kodak cinema projectors or a car headlight to light homes. Timeless gestures to shock. "Charlotte Perriand’s luminaires are both functionalist and minimalist, conceived like furniture, on an architectural scale. These are not ‘designer’ luminaires, but very much architect luminaires using volumes and proportions, like an architectural element of a whole, to make the space ‘perform." explains Pernette Perriand-Barsac.
Likewise for the absolutely functional approach of Le Corbusier who radicalised Tanizaki’s proposal in In Praise of Shadows, "An electric lamp is now something familiar; so, why these half measures instead of very simply leaving the bulb bare, with a banal lampshade in thin and milky glass, that will give a natural impression of simplicity?" The Franco-Swiss architect aligned three bare bulbs, attached by tubes to the ceiling of the dining room in Maison La Roche that he produced in Auteuil in 1925. A turning point for the director of the Fondation Le Corbusier, Michel Richard, "The design of the luminaires, their positioning, their power are continuously at the point of tension between shadow and light, between need and comfort, between simplicity and mystery. In this unique house, lighting follows the same logic as colouring: they both relate to the architecture, they contribute together, on the same level, to keep the element of surprise and the pleasure of discovering for whoever wanders through it at various times of day, in all dimensions of space and time. "
Avant-garde reflection for everyone at the Biennale Interieur from 14th to 23rd October.
PH. Pascal Hermans