Galerie Polaris, 15 rue des Arquebusiers, 75003 Paris, Tel : + 33 (0)1 42 72 21 27
January 9 - February 8, 2014

At first sight, Map with a view is a series of black abstract watercolours. 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.










Powered by WordPress