Design – Every day, newspapers inform us of daily Covid-19 deaths, stock exchange percentages, the centimetres of rising sea levels and the number of war victims and suicides. “We live in a world saturated with information, figures and graphs. It all becomes very abstract, very mathematical.” Mathieu Lehanneur told Archipanic. With The Inventory of Life, “I wanted to select the information and give it a shape, so that speaks to our heart rather than to our brain.”
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Curated by Maria Cristina Didero, the exhibition consists of four installations, each exploring our world with a renewed awareness of human life caducity and the climate change emergency through pieces shaped by data provided by the United Nations, by the World Health Organization, or specifically commissioned satellite photos. “Basically, this exhibition is a mirror. It reflects who we are, collectively and individually.” Lehanneur told Archipanic. The innovative installations narrate what figures can’t communicate: “emotion, bond, fear, belief, personality,” Says Lehanneur.
Live/Leave features an array of white canvas representing a country, with carved black holes as wide as the national suicide rate. The installation visually shows the level of depression and happiness.
The State of the World installation features a landscape of anodized aluminum sculptures, each representing the history and evolution of the human population of over 150 countries. The United Nations provided demography, birth rate and life expectancy figures.
Through a series of round enameled ceramic sculptures, the 50 Seas installation collects 50 shades of blue and green of some 50 oceans and seas across Planet Earth, as seen and recorded by satellites. In the How Deep is Time installation, a glass filament hanging from the roof visual represents projections slightly disaccording – but still worrying – forecasts on the variation of sea level in the future.
“Every one of us could be described by figures: your age, your height, your weight, your wealth, your followers. It is technically the truth about you, it talks about you, but it’s not You!” Mathieu Lehanneur told Archipanic. “Your friends and relatives would never describe you with figures or graphs. They would talk with emotion and feelings. And it would give me a better, deeper and more global understanding of who you are. I did the same with countries, seas, future and happiness. I turned information into feelings.”
Photos: Courtesy of Triennale Milano.