Carte blanche to Constance Guisset

15.09.2016 – 15.01.2017

Offering Constance Guisset the ground floor spaces of the mudac and the opportunity to devise a catalogue based on her creative work has parked fantastic enthusiasm and commitment from the designer. This young Parisian is an obvious choice, given how much the quality of her work, the finesse, poetry and accuracy of her attention to the world of objectsaround us, has captured our institution’s attention over several years. Valuable conversations have led to fruitful, intense exchanges. Constance Guisset has rapidly made the character and uniqueness of our exhibition spaces her own, returning them back to their first historic function: a private home.
Two apartments with identical furniture echo each other; the first in black and white tones and the other entirely in colour. This work through oppositions, through tandems, is one of the main qualities of her approach, opening out onto vast fields of investigations. This ideas and research laboratory is held in our museum’s spaces as an idealised testimony apartment. The central island this play of mirrored furniture creates is surrounded by peripheral variations of breathing space and exploratory zones.
In her converted space, Constance Guisset invites us to sit down and discover novel perspectives, unexpected viewpoints on the urban landscape of Lausanne. She encourages us to imagine experimental figures, to notice hidden or contrasting light. In counterpoint, private spaces bear witness to her constant research into the properties of a given material, its expressive power, manoeuvrability and functional potential.
While the exhibition is an intended ode to colour, it should be recalled that in the Middle Age colour was considered as casing, as disguise – the Latin word color comes from celare, to hide. The exhibition, conceived as a two-part partition blurs lines and highlights the great expressive potential of the hot / cold contrast. The visitor arrives into a setting of cold, neutral objects to then find themselves encountering them again, bathed in colour. To dress objects in colour is to give them materiality, sensuality, the sensation of a coloured effect which, taken in by the eye and retransmitted by the brain, invokes intense emotions. Colours drive codes and spark many reactions which influence our environment and behaviour.
They affect our senses, and enrich the world and our perception of it. In the arrangement she has conceived of, Constance Guisset takes a dual outlook on the furniture. While in her research and her prototypes she explores neutral colours to bring out the formal characteristics of her objects, she explores the potential of colour in the layout and staging of the same series of products.
This creation of pairs also puts pressure on the notion of enderisation in contemporary design. Is it possible to speak about a masculine environment with cold shades? About a more feminine world with warm hues? Or, in making as much a direct as demonstrative contrast, does Constance Guisset look to burst these prejudices, to go beyond these conventions?
Subtle and mischievous, the designer has many surprises in store for us, with objects slid into recesses and the partitions built into her apartment. A treasure hunt, a playful and experimental itinerary unveils the rich palette of a series of more personal products.
Constance Guisset likes to foster visual meetings, to make her objects coexist in structured scenographies where rigour, exactitude and symmetry depend on a glossary of sensual forms borrowed from the animal and plant world, from the observation of the physical laws of movement or from the Japanese art whose fascinating minimalism she admires.
The designer welcomes us into her private realm, her show apartment, where furniture, objects, material, colours and proportions are many manifestoes of her insatiable curiosity, her taste for the precision of names and words, as well as the magnificent, taut equilibrium of her creations.