A Shell for Art: Bell Pavilion by Pezo von Ellrichshausen
Client: Christian Boltanski
Architect: Pezo von Ellrichshausen (Mauricio Pezo, Sofia von Ellrichshausen)
Location: Paris (FR)
Many projects by the Chilean architect duo exist right on the line between architecture and art. Pezo von Ellrichshausen have participated several times in the Venice Biennale, most recently with their Vara Pavilion from 2016. This pavilion consists of variously sized circular wall elements described by architects as “a series of exterior spaces within other exterior spaces.” However, the two architects’ approach to the planning of house projects speaks of a serious preoccupation with “primal forms” in proportion to each other.
For an installation by the artist Christian Boltanski, Pezo von Ellrichshausen have created an enclosure that is an architectural work of art in itself. Inside, visitors can see a continuously played video projection documenting Boltanski’s installation in the Atacama Desert.
The space is formed of two concentric cylinders and two tunnel-like entrances/exits. The radius of the smaller cylinder corresponds to the size of the projection shown inside, whereas the larger one shows visitors the way through the space. A paradoxical feeling arises in the dark interior of the massive structure, which stands in the idyllic museum garden of the Musée MAC VAL: visitors find themselves, for a brief moment, in the Atacama Desert, although a few steps lead them back into the reality of Paris.