Maison Neyrand, Parc du Champvert, Lyon, France
In the surrounding darkness of the park, the windows of the Maison Neyrand open into rooms whose light sources will transform our personal vision. The visitor’s eye, used to the night’s shadows, will be dazzled so that he will see and feel light for what it is. White lights are reflected and seen in mirrors sending back intense flares, so that a single thing can be distinguished: light. In our field of vision various very intense light sources multiply, making us momentarily lose our ability to distinguish objects. As we are dazzled, we are submerged. But when the visitor steps away from the windows of the Maison Neyrand, coloured patches, phosphenes*, remain in his field of vision and superimpose themselves on the surroundings for several minutes. The phosphenes are transformed into mental images.
* Phosphenes are obtained by staring at the light for 5 or 6 seconds
Light projectors, mirrors
At the back of the white room, a projected space opens up: that of the first floor of the Bauhaus in Dessau. It is an unsettling mise en abîme. When the Bauhaus is bathed in indigo, the wall changes into glowing orange and vice-versa. The Bauhaus platform seems to get deeper, then elastically return to the foreground as we first saw it, as if the building could flexibly stretch. As if the inside wall of the Maison Neyrand were mobile and unexpectedly flexible.
Later, the same wall has a film projected on it: the sails of a windmill gently turn, but they are the wrong way up, the sky is below, there is a feeling of dizziness… Then, then green translucent water of Niagara Falls appears, ceaselessly sweeping the visitor away in its perpetual flow. The water engulfs us.