From April 12 to June 9, 2019, Galeries Lafayette invite Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann, the duo of Swiss artists to present an original installation in Galerie des Galeries, located on the first floor of the department store.

The in-situ intervention Beautiful Tube #6 underlines the angular architecture of the space as it proposes a brand new experience of wandering to its visitors. Acting as a mise en abyme of Galerie des Galeries, this tube-like structure lengthens the tunnel situated at the entrance of the exhibition space. Seen from the outside, this plain and imposing micro-architecture renews the perception one has of the place. From the inside, the visitors are confronted with an artwork which unsettles our landmarks as it turns into a site for exploration and contemplation. The elliptical and geometric patterns which alternate throughout the tunnel are inspired from the cupola of the department store, while their vivid colors contrast with the sobriety of its external aspect.

Artists
Sabina Lang (born in 1972) and Daniel Baumann (born in 1967) have been working together since 1990. Their work is characterized by the realization of in-situ installations, especially conceived for the places they invest: exhibition and public spaces, architectures, urban and rural settings. Their work is ambivalent for it both merges with and reveals the particularities of the sites it occupies. Lang/Baumann’s interventions, implemented with different media such as sculpture, painting or inflatable structures, question the nature of the places through which we go as they unsettle our expectations and sense of perception. The duo of artists enables one to look with a brand new gaze at the places they revisit.
Their most striking projects include
Hotel Everland – a hotel room temporary set on the rooftop of Palais de Tokyo, from 2007 to 2009 –, Up #3 – a permanent work inaugurated in 2017 on the occasion of Un Eté au Havre –, and Street Painting #10 made on the occasion of FIAC 2018. In 2019, they present Beautiful View #1 in the city of Nanterre.

Interview

You are used to intervene within public spaces and cultural institutions: in which way the context of the department store is different?
Galeries Lafayette is a place where an enormous flow of people go through every day. To us, it is therefore similar to other highly frequented public spaces. But what is also interesting is that it is a historical building, constantly transforming: it has not remained as it was in the first place but it has known many transformations since its original construction. It has several layers of “things” (beyond the goods for sale) like furniture, ceiling elements, walls, signaletics, screens, stairs, elevators, different surfaces - so it is really charged and a lot of its architecture is undisclosed.

Your practice is fed with architectural and graphic elements present in the spaces that you invest. What are the elements of the department store or Galerie des Galeries which have inspired you in the conception of this installation ?
We work on two levels: on one side we created a geometric pattern that is very colorful and “screaming”. It’s based on an elliptic shape of the store's cupola– with several extending rings in black, white and grays combined with a bright yellow and a magenta pink.
The boldness of this pattern is opposed to the fact that it is somehow hidden: the pattern is concealed inside Beautiful Tube #6 - a tunnel sculpture, totally black on the outside and elevated from the floor. This work refers to the layout of the space of Galerie des Galeries and is accessible for the visitors to walk through. So it can be read as an attempt to compete with the density of the inside of Galeries Lafayette, with on the one side the hectic consumer world shouting for attention and on the other side a space which fulfill the desire to hide and seek silence and a rest in a hidden, protected place without any purpose…

What reactions do you expect from the visitors of the department store?
We never expect a certain reaction from visitors. But we do make assumptions on the basis that we are the visitors of our own installations. Being confronted with fragments of a pattern in the hustle and bustle of the department store, that we discover inside of a tunnel lined with soft carpet that will swallow every sound seem to be an experience we would like to have.
What we create is an in-between state, made of simultaneously a slightly claustrophobic narrow experience and a delightful and delirious feeling. We play with mixing soft and shiny color and a hard, black and bulky shape set into a white space.

Lang/Baumann - © Galerie des Galeries

Kids workshops

On the occasion of Lang/Baumann's installation Beautiful Tube #6, Galerie des Galeries proposes a series of workshops dedicated to experimentation and creation around architecture and pattern.

For children aged 6 and over,
3 – 4.30pm
Saturday, April 27: GRAPHIC POSTER
Sunday, May 12: POP-UP ARCHI
Saturday, May 25: GÉOMÉTRIE TISSÉE

Family workshop for 3–6 years old children, 11 – 12am
Saturday, May 18 : MAXI FRISE

Free, reservation is required.

Information and booking: galeriedesgaleries@galerieslafayette.com

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