Scenes of EngagementsExhibition views
Les Tanneries, Centre d'art Contemporain, Amilly, France
As artist in residence at the Tanneries workshops, Wesley Meuris found in the Main Hall of the arts centre a place that was well suited to continue his reflection on the architectures and interior designs of public spaces. The site of the arts centre has indeed preserved the architectural traces and characteristics of a building that used to be a hide-tanning factory. It also bears the mark of the architect who was commissioned to convert the industrial site into an arts centre. The sculptural device created by Wesley Meuris illustrates with precision this metamorphosis of the site. A mobile structure that unfolds from the interior towards the exterior of the building is composed of several platforms and gangways that connect the interior spaces of the Main Hall with the exterior square and the surrounding park. Wesley Meuris’s installation follows the structure of a building on which the old tanning vats and wide openings have imposed a cruciform layout. Thus, Wesley Meuris’s work conveys physically the transformation that the site has gone through, all the while shaping these new purposes. The built structure links the original function of the tannery with that of the arts centre as a site of visibility where our perspective on art is elaborated. Wesley Meuris’s residency is for him an opportunity to pursue a reflection on the principles that govern architecture and the layout of public spaces. Wesley Meuris’s installations seek to reproduce and accentuate these principles to reveal their at times authoritarian nature. His creations unveil the aims to which they respond and which confer upon them a form of control: incitement to specific behaviour, the conditioning of the gaze or of movement through the space, the highlighting of the contents, the organization of events, etc. Modes of conditioning that recur in the arts centres, places where art is shown and disseminated.