Laure Tixier presents a series of black abstract shapes, a collection of plans of prisons from all over the world
Geometry of confinement
This inventory of confinement geometries is made of around thirty prisons from different geographical and historical origins
Inventory of confinement geometries
Map with a view January 9 – February 8, 2014
Galerie Polaris 15 rue des Arquebusiers, 75003 Paris
At first sight, Map with a view is a series of black abstract shapes. Then one realizes that it is a collection of plans of prisons from all over the world. This inventory of confinement geometries, of « social orthopaedics » spaces as Michel Foucault would call them, is made of around thirty prisons from different geographical and historical origins. Some of them no longer exist (the children's prison la Petite Roquette in Paris which is now a park; Millbank prison in London has become the Tate Britain...); others have been reassigned (memorials and prison-museum such as Robben Island in South Africa or Indian Cellular Jail in India; museums like the Panoptico in Bogota which is currently the National Museum of Columbia; universities, like Saint-Paul et Saint-Jean in Lyon; luxury hotels...); other prisons are still operated.
Several years after using Piranese's (Dolci Carceri) imaginary prisons in her works, Laure Tixier looks back on their architecture. One day, while finding her way in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, she discovered on Google Earth a blurred area corresponding to the prison de la Santé. She wanted to give shape to this black hole in the middle of the city. This attempt to repair the urban fabric is embodied via a transitional sculpture set on the floor of the gallery. The technique used for this « neighbourhood rug » is a mix of patchwork and palimpsest.
The historical thread is woven from the geographical research. The geometry of confinement has a long story : it was brought from Russia by Jeremy Bentham, germinated in London, flourished in America and brought into France by Alexis de Tocqueville. European countries established and multiplied prisons in their colonies - Asia and Africa - where they did not exist. Today, they are overpopulated.
On the wall, a carpet represents a neighbourhood of Ho Chi Minh Ville, with, in the centre, the prison Chi Boa built by the French during the colonial era and still in use today.
A bed sheet, symbol of intimacy, occasionally a jailbreak tool, is embroidered with the title of the exhibition and the plan of the State prison Pelican Bay in California. This jail is a Supermax installation in which the prisoner is totally isolated, including from the rest of the prison.
Drawing, photography, video
Born in 1972, Laure Tixier lives and works in Paris.
She questions the architecture, urban planning and the social organization, which they contain. Multiplying the practices - watercolor, cartoon, installation, ceramic, embroidery…, She creates a universe between subtlety and radicality which associates sometimes, opposed elements, just as much of the folk culture than the art or science’s history, the today's society, and the utopias.
Resident of villa Kujoyama in Kyoto in 2000, French winner of "Women to Watch" of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington in 2012, she participated to the Yokohama Triennial in 2001 and in a number of solo and group exhibitions at the RAM Foundation in Rotterdam, the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris, at the Mudam in Luxembourg, at the Beirut Art Center in Lebanon, at Musée d’Art Contemporain de Rochechouart.
Polaris Galerie in Paris represents her work.