Inventing the city: from urbanism to pure poetry

Lyon, Place des Terreaux, an art gallery

Ilex and the artist Jean-François Gavoty team up for a whimsical exhibition that gives improbable visages to this iconic square, where Lyon’s town hall is situated.

Freeing possibilities

The imagination is liberated by evocations of great artists – from Vermeer to Chagall – and animals – bears and penguins. Geography disintegrates: seas, rivers and menhirs fly apart. Historic facades are pierced, in the name of light and traboules. Topography, climate, history and orientation are transformed into a baroque, disoriented whole, inventing new, oneiric showcases for Bartholdi’s genius and the stately town hall.

A stylistic exercise

This exercise has an undeniably facetious aspect, but it also takes up the question of embedded imagination, and pluralities of solutions. Exceeding any pragmatic limit, reflection is exercised in order to avoid unwittingly censoring possibilities. In sum, by reconnecting the imagination to sensoriality, creativity is stimulated and the mind is invited to go « beyond the known » – an indispensable form of acrobatics in a changing world where everything has to be reinvented.