Philippe Decrauzat’s large film-based installation originates from photographs he took in Barcelona focusing on the marble used for Mies van der Rohe’s German Pavilion. First opened for the 1929 International Exhibition, the building was torn down shortly thereafter and rebuilt only in 1986 according to the original plans. However, since it was adorned by unique marble, it proved impossible to find slabs and patterns identical to the original.
As a result, the 1986 pavilion is not a copy so much as another building altogether. In fact, the documentary photographs, which served as the basis for reconstruction, have had a much longer life and effect than the original building itself. This is symptomatic of modernity where concepts are conveyed through images rather than actual objects. Indeed, three pavilions exist in parallel: the original, its representation, and the reconstruction.
As a painter and filmmaker, Decrauzat is fascinated by the way much of the visual information we perceive is mere illusion, and finds inspiration in optical studies made in the late 19th century. With this new work, the beholder is immersed in a mise-en-abyme between the gallery space and the pavilion – a spatial reflection blurring the concepts of here and there.