Following in the footsteps of Xavier Veilhan, Daniel Buren and Dan Graham, Felice Varini goes face-to-face with Le Corbusier’s architecture in the South of France.
MAMO is an art centre created by Ora Ito, a young, hyperactive and gifted creator who has lived between Paris and Marseille for 15 years. In 2013, Ito created MAMO on the roof terrace of Cité Radieuse built between 1945 and 1952 in Marseille.
For Ito, Felice Varini is one of few great contemporary artists “able to use, underline and highlight a single architecture equally as well as a whole city. The space is his natural medium, I am very proud to have introduced him to this roof terrace that he had only previously seen in a photo.”
Varini, the French-Swiss artist living in Paris finds himself in a unique situation, “This is the first time that I have exhibited on, in and with architecture designed by Le Corbusier. This place is a landmark, a huge influence. It is a true microcosm, designed as a small city with its range of complex volumes, a small city with a view over the large city of Marseille. It is extremely exciting!”
Varini always operates in situ. Each place is different and each time his work evolves in relation to the location. “I generally scour the venue taking in its architecture, materials, history and function. Based on its varying spatial data, I define a viewpoint around which my initiative takes shape. For me a viewpoint is a point in the space that I choose carefully: it is usually situated at my eye level and preferably located in a key passageway, for example where one room leads to another, a landing, etc. I don’t make a rule of it, as spaces don’t all systematically have an obvious path. The choice is often arbitrary. »
At MAMO, Varini spans the whole terrace with three pieces (red and yellow) offering three different viewpoints. Of course, Varini’s painted forms make sense when the spectator is at the particular spot but, the richness come from the many perspectives one can have on this historic roof terrace.