Bertrand Lamarche - Cyclocity

CYCLOCITY, 2012
Video HD, 13 minutes, loop, sound
Edition of 4 

View of the exhibition at Galerie Jérôme Poggi, Paris, 2015 © Nicolas Brasseur
Bertrand Lamarche, Cyclocity, 2012, videostill

Produced for the Marcel Duchamp Prize, the architectural model Cyclocity focuses on the railway site in the city of Nancy, which repeatedly appears in Bertrand Lamarche’s work in its twofold aspect. on the one hand, the model pays attention to urban reality and its surroundings, in both their architectural and cultural dimensions. on the other hand, it breaks up this reality into fictional elements, that the artist then puts together and takes apart, as in a scenario. Seen from the Kennedy viaduct in Nancy (FR), this head-on panoramic view shows a reality that has been partially erased, exposing the urban gap left after the disappearance of the prison and the destruction of a portion of the Centre de tri Postal (the mail sorting center) built by Jean and Claude Prouvé. What thus appears is an emblematic case of the expressive dimension pertaining to a particular conception of architecture around 1968-73, an intrinsically precarious architecture, marked out for dismantling. This modeling also exceeds the referral to an outside reality, it integrates fictional features of Bertrand Lamarche’s universe such as a lighthouse, a future location for a garden of hogweeds, a transparent plastic tube in front of the mail sorting center. resembling a “wormhole” in the midst of urban space, this rotating tunnel functions both as an optical instrument and as a time-loop right out of science fiction. Its transparent surfaces, projected onto a backdrop by means of a camcorder and a video projector, alter reality, translate it into a different spatial and time scale. the projection operates as a machine for fictionalizing reality. This modeling also exceeds the referral to an outside reality, it integrates fictional features of Bertrand Lamarche’s universe such as a lighthouse, a future location for a garden of hogweeds, a transparent plastic tube in front of the mail sorting center. resembling a “wormhole” in the midst of urban space, this rotating tunnel functions both as an optical instrument and as a time-loop right out of science fiction.


Text by Antonia Birnbaum, Marcel Duchamp Prize 2012

Shot in the mockup of the site, the movie is a static shot which focuses on the plexiglas and on lighthouse in the background. The light successively opens and closes the camera iris, and diffractes itself into the pipe in rotation. That creates a progressive blurring effect on the architecture on the right foreground, giving it a spectral and unreal aura. The opening and closing iris produces a cyclic light variation, as a night / day rythm, strenghtening the freezing time in which the building seems suspended between apparition and disapearance.

Exhibition view with the model at FIAC 2012, 
Nominees for the Prize Marcel Duchamp 2012
Exhibition view with the model at FIAC 2012, Nominees for the Prize Marcel Duchamp 2012

View of the exhibition at Moulins de Paillard, 2014
View of the exhibition at Moulins de Paillard, 2014