Valles Marineris Emmanuel Regent - Sculptures

The Project

When stainless steel becomes synonymous with art: an exhibition of our material

«"Made possible with the support of Aperam, this wall sculpture will be the second in a series that began with a first part made of stainless steel back in 2007. It was the exact reconstruction of a cut stone block with broken pieces that is in the harbour of Villefranche sur mer a few metres deep. I measured the block precisely, which had fallen from its original architecture (probably destroyed) to have it reproduced in welded stainless steel to scale 1:1.

The wall is composed of around fifty blocks, each approximately 30x40 cm. The sculpture measures 10m in length and is 1.5m  tall, and weighs 900kg. The modularity of the construction allows many variations, both in shape and in size.

This impressive piece does not attempt to reproduce an existing dry stone wall but a fiction based on real facts, a metal architecture created using the latest technology for cutting and welding, but in the tradition of manual skills and craft. Building a wall is a "first step" for a sculptor, a vertical elevation that serves as both protection and separation for a space: I love working with a "stainless" material, and also to recreate an ancient form, primal, and to incorporate the slow degradation of the stone over the passage of time as a formal model to create a work that is cold, smooth, surgical and refers to conceptual and minimal art. 

Being extracted from a bed, as in a river bed is the definition of "divagation" or wandering: archaeology is for me, a form of organised divagation. Will the forms of today be rediscovered in the future as new forms? My sculpture means the opposite because a ruined wall is a timeless presence. Our civilization has made the ruin into a fully fledged architecture, integrated and assimilated into contemporary landscapes.

This stainless steel wall is a symbolic interpretation, rot-resistant archaeology where form and material are strangers to each other. The metal flakes are scattered and strewn like missing pieces of a water puzzle, or a lost architecture. »

 
Emmanuel Régent, excerpt from an interview
 

Technical Data

City: 
Villefranche-Sur-Mer
Country: 
France
Architect: 
Emmanuel Regent
Year: 
2012

Stainless Steel Information

Grade: 
316L/1.4404
Finish: 
Uginox Mat
Thickness: 
1,50 mm
Area: 
1T