Exposition : L'Art du Chantier

Stunting the world of construction? Nothing is less certain, to believe the City of Architecture and Heritage organizes until 11 March 2019 an exhibition not on the site itself, but on its representations, that they are realized by artists, political organizations, architects or workers. What change of opinion on this world of noises, tools and rubble ...

If the word "construction site" evokes you as a jackhammer, truck in the middle of the street, dust and other inconveniences, go quickly to the City of Architecture and Heritage (16e) to discover the exhibition The Art of Building Site, build and demolish 16e the 21e century. Imagined by curators Valérie Nègre and Marie-Hélène Contal, this event is not intended to tell what is - or was - a building site, but to explore the ways in which it could be represented by artists as by companies or even craftsmen, will certainly change your perception of this unique world ...


If the ultra-rich corpus composed of 433 works presented between the walls of the Cité Chaillot is worth seeing, it is for several reasons. The first, and not least, is to remember that this moment so special in the life of a project is a source of inspiration for artists. Perceived as a " Street show ", it fascinates as much as it exasperates, being the subject of portraits sometimes laudatory, sometimes critical. But even more interesting, the exhibition reveals above all how the representation of the site - and by extension the communication that surrounds it - is a matter of power. Valorisation of craftsmanship; demonstration of strength for a company aiming to demonstrate its ability to build a tower of several dozen floors in record time; tool of social demands for the workers; object of propaganda instrumentalized by certain parties; media intended to promote - if not accept - a policy of regional planning ... There are many examples presented demonstrating how the site represents, for the person who draws the picture, an effective way to defend his About.


Beyond this meta-political dimension, the event is also an opportunity for the visitor to discover some unknown aspects of the site so often " forbidden to the public " : to understand that it is for engineers and companies a place of experimentation, for budding architects a moment of learning, and for some uninvited visitors - children, wanderers, prostitutes, etc. - a meeting point! While appreciable, this little extra is also the little less of the exhibition, giving the impression that it loses sight of its own subject, slipping from the representation of the site to its reality. But this inconvenience is minimal ... So do not hesitate, put on your boots, your helmet and go to the City of Architecture and Heritage discover The Art of Construction!

To learn more, visit the site of the City of Architecture and Heritage

Photography and illustrations:

1) Eugène de Salignac, Painters hanging on the Brooklyn Bridge cables, 7-10-1914
© New York City Municipal Archives
2) Knickerbocker Photo Service, The Empire State Building Under Construction, 1930
© Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University
3) Alphonse Terpereau, The viaduct of Gabarit, state of work on 6 april 1884 7
© Musée d'Orsay, Dist. RMN-GP Alexis Brandt
4) John Soane Office, View of the Chelsea Royal Hospital Infirmary Room Under Construction, 1809
© Sir John Soane's MuseumPh. Geremy Butler
5) Fernand Léger, Aloe Constructors, 1951. Tapestry woven by Pinton Frères workshops
© RMN-GP (F. Léger Museum) -G.Blot - Adagp, Paris, 2018
6) Henri Rivière, plumber worker on the tower. Thirty-six views of the Eiffel Tower, between 1888 and 1902
© RMN-GP (Orsay Museum) -RG Ojéda - Adagp, Paris, 2018
7) Lewis Wickes Hine, Icarus, at the top of the Empire State, 1931
© The New York Public Library
8) B. Descamps, Badauds looking through the hole of a palisade of the construction site of the Forum des Halles, in front of the fountain of Innocents, 1979
© BHVP-Parisienne de Photo
9) Michel Delaporte, Replatrage in the moral, political and literary caricature
10) Achille Beltrame, Mussolini launches the Via dei Fori project
11) You are unionized. Why are not you a cooperator, to 1935
12) Supporting a cement slab-mushroom
© Felix Candela Architectural Records and Papers, 1950-1984, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University
13) Alain Bublex, Plug-in City, Monumental experience, 2003 © C. Pompidou MNAM-CCI Dist. NMR-GP
© Adagp, Paris, 2018
14) "In thanks to Notre-Dame-de-Laghet. 17.12.26 Menardo Geoffroy ", 1927
15) "Ex voto. Ma. Sig. Staudo dentro nel cortile successo he 18 aprile venerdi santo 1851. Paolo Tibaud. Malero Modesto. Fortune Viegi ", 1851

Post your comment

  • No comment on this article.

ADC Awards

ADC-Awards-logo-2017 250-01
The most outstanding architectural achievements elected by the professional community

>> Learn more


miaw white logo ok

An International Award to the best products for architects and layout professionals

>> Learn more


5, Saulnier Street - 75009 PARIS

T: + (33) 1 42 61 61 81

F: + (33) 1 42 61 61 82

[Email protected]


my account

Mobile version