'Tire-toi une bûche' by Julie Tremblay and Appareil Architecture

published in: Architecture, Art By Ricardo Hernandez, 18 January 2012

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photo © Julie Tremblay and Appareil Architecture

The project named  'Tire-toi une bûche' (a French-Canadian expression that means 'take a seat') was conceived in the Fall of 2011, by a television series called 'Livraison d'artistes' (Artists Delivery), produced by ARTV. The commission was appointed to Appareil Architecture, as well as the artist sculptor Julie Tremblay, to collaborate and achieve a permanent installation on the grounds owned by a couple selected by the show. The location of the installation is in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada.

The site itself is lush, verdant and located in a densely forested area. The intersection between architect, artist and site truly captures the balance that a project can have when all parties work together to achieve a singular experience. Appareil's structure is a series of fragmented walls that frame and protect the square where the sculpture by Julie Tremblay is located. The architectural installation functions to not only embrace and protect but also frame the view of the sculpture. The structure is as high as the sculpture ((17 x 25 x 8 feet) and the wall fragments are cut and finished with angular views into the center of the square and the perimeter site. The interior corridor is painted black and only interior neon lights placed in the high ceiling accentuate any kind of illumination. Although the center square can gather an extensive group of people, the interior corridor is only wide enough to hold one individual. The playful contrast between intimacy and privacy creates a transitional space between one individual and nature. The path the individual takes within the corridor continues to frame the sculpture and its relationship with nature. Whether it acts as an entrance or a window to the square, the openings maintain an active role in the site's experience.

At the center of the square is a chicken wire sculpture with a green covering vinyl. The green vinyl protects the sculpture from the elements and avoids rapid oxidation. The sculpture sits at center and is as high as the architectural structure. It consists of a man with a bird's head, balancing on his back, and the reverse shows a bird with a man's head which in turn narrates the connection both beings have and how they switched heads in order to see the world from a different perspective. The same sculpture deals with the idea of a structure that can be found on an atomic level which can also be found on a cosmic level and vice-versa. This illustrates the fact that an organism has affinities with another organism just like a species has affinities with another species or a person with another person, etc. This sculpture is a reflection of the structure of its environment. It is also the embodiment of two made up species that although contemporary in the language of art, are also rooted in several ancient cultures such as Greek and Egyptian mythologies. The wider metaphor between Man and nature is experienced from the sculpture and out into the structure where the fragmentation on the wooden unit breaks like tree branches and somehow blends beautifully with the site's natural splendor.

photo © Julie Tremblay and Appareil Architecture

photo © Julie Tremblay and Appareil Architecture

photo © Julie Tremblay and Appareil Architecture

photo © Julie Tremblay and Appareil Architecture

photo © Julie Tremblay and Appareil Architecture

photo © Julie Tremblay and Appareil Architecture

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Julie Tremblay, Appareil Architecture

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