Known for his in situ works in urban and natural settings, Christophe Gonnet (b. 1967) takes over the patio at la maison rouge, transforming it into a vast wooden structure that will slowly become overgrown by vegetation. This construction comprises a floor from which a series of vertical elements rise towards beams. It will be the substrate for a developing environment where visitors can wander or take root. Christophe Gonnet sets out to take full possession of the patio and transform its spatiality, how the public apprehend it, and certain architectural features, in particular how it relates to the exhibition spaces.
The project is at once sculptural, architectural and also environmental in its relation with the garden. "I want to focus on two aspects of this work and the public. One concerns tension, pressure, what is an enclosed, yet at the same time outside space, and the multiple points of view created as people move around the exhibition spaces. The other concerns the sensation of being enveloped, isolated, of taking refuge inside the patio by multiplying the number of possible routes and by creating nooks for sitting or eating in." (Christophe Gonnet).
Plants are central to this project. Each of the vertical elements will host a plant on a hidden support. Leaves will slowly spread across the walls. "Each element, through its material and form, can suggest a tree, a tree trunk, and indirectly become a metaphor for the forest. If the plants grow well, we can hope to see quite a spectacular development as the patio is transformed from a mainly architecturally structured space into a highly ’vegetalised’ one." (Christophe Gonnet).