Gilles Meillassoux

Anonymat, archéologie du banal - Installation - 2014

présentée dans le cadre de l'exposition Panorama 16


“What could be materially plainer and symbolically poorer than this building which is coterminous with its function? The haunted castles of the Gothic novel are now roadside hotels, big empty parking lots, shopping centres. In a word, everything that belongs to the indefinite peri-urban world.” Bruce Bégout

This installation project represents a small-scale motel room. It is painted monochrome grey throughout, matching the neutrality of such places which are often reduced to their commercial function. This simple cube, with its atrophied architecture and furniture, expresses not only emptiness and boredom, but also an ambivalent mix of the familiar and the disturbing. As they move through the space in their wireless headphones, visitors will hear short sentences telling them about the temporary occupants. Seeing objects appear on the floor and furniture, they can guess at the events that took place. Like a concentrate of time, deposited in a single space, several stories follow each other, evoked by visual and aural fragments, that visitors, by virtue of their physical involvement, will have to decipher. If the motel room is, by its architectural indigence and minimal comfort, a common, standardised kind of place, it also occupies a distinctive position in the literary, artistic and cinematic imagination. A banal place thus becomes suffused with anxiety, and the insignificant becomes enigmatic.

Gilles Meillassoux


Madeleine Van Doren, Daniel Dobbels, Thomas McIntosh, Maxence Ciekawy, l’équipe pédagogique, technique et de production du Fresnoy. Interface Z (Francis Bras et Sandrine Chiri), la ligue d’impro « Les cochons de l’espace » (Vincent Bonnet, Natacha Bonnet, Céline Vandenbroeck, Nicolas Komorowski, Gaëlle Dupont, Agnès Cottey, Frédéric Lecerf et Patrick Butruille).