The Art of The Building Site

Construction and Demolition from the 16th to the 21st Century
Address
1 place du Trocadéro, 75116 Paris Map
Hours
Thu 11 am–9 pm, Wed+Fri–Mon 11 am–7 pm

How Western Man has seen, designed and imagined the place where building occurs since the Renaissance. The great diversity of observers, the plurality of images and the different audiences they turn to show that this is a powerful theme, which is far broader than the fields of architecture and technique.

The exhibition juxtaposes different viewpoints. It brings together a collection of works and documents produced by artists, journalists and amateurs, but also those who work in situ: engineers, architects, contractors and – what is rarer – labourers, through votive offerings or masterpieces produced by the Compagnons charpentiers des Devoirs du Tour de France. The exhibition ends with the statements of three contemporary architect-engineers: Patrick Bouchain, Marc Mimram and Martin Rauch, for whom the building site is ever increasingly the space where architecture meets complexity, inventiveness and the aspirations of the modern-day world.

As the result of close collaboration between specialists of art and specialists of techniques, this exhibition offers a diverse interpretation of the theme: it casts a light on the technical dimension, as well as the social, political and artistic dimensions. The path begins with what you would expect to find on a site: construction processes, machines, and men at work. It then highlights the political and social issues about the place that is being built. Even though the site is a highly technical area, it is also a theatre for those in charge, who like to show themselves there, and for the labourers, who are sometimes viewed as oppressed masses, sometimes viewed as heroes.