My buildings have no message to communicate. I prefer to see them as containers that are relatively neutral, that constitute a kind of backdrop…something that reveals itself only once one pays attention. É. G.
Montreal, Canada, 2012-01-29 -
The ‘désir du neutre’ is a ‘pathos’, Roland Barthes would have said, a dream of modern architecture that in today’s context expresses a critical position that is particularly contentious. The desire for neutrality sets itself up in direct opposition to the desires for distinction, for expression, to be symbolic, for a sense of identity or branding. It is a search for a state that suspends the tensions between architecture and its milieu and within the composition of architecture itself. But the desire for neutrality is not neutral. It conveys an ethical and aesthetic commitment which manifests itself not by failing to act or by retreating, but rather by creating strategies and figuresthat are simultaneously precise and strong.
This exhibition takes the form of a triptych whose different sections look at how this desire for neutrality has made itself evident in the work of Éric Gauthier - in three different ways and three moments of reflection.
Biographical notes Éric Gauthier graduated with his Bachelor’s degree in architecture in 1983 from Université Laval in Quebec City. A partner in the firm FABG since 1988, Éric Gauthier has from the very beginning of his practice distinguished himself as a designer of cultural projects. His work has received numerous prizes and awards both for sensibility to context and for the innovative nature of solutions to technical problems. A list of only some of the many significant projects for which he has been responsible – either as project architect or as designer for FABG – would include Théâtre de Quat’Sous (2009), Centre des Sciences de Montréal (2000), Espace Go (1995) and the Biosphere (1993).
This exhibition is presented from January 26 to March 11, 2012 by the Faculté de l’aménagement de lUniversité de Montréal. It has been produced by the École d’architecture and by L.e.a.p. (Laboratoire d’étude de l’architecture potentielle), with the collaboration of the architect and curated by Denis Bilodeau, Professor in the École d’architecture at Université de Montréal and L.e.a.p. researcher. The vernissage will be held Wednesday, February 1st at 5:30 pm.
The Centre d’exposition de l’Université de Montréal is located in the Pavillon de la Faculté de l’aménagement, 2940 Côte Ste. Catherine Road, Room 0056, Metro Université‐de‐Montréal. It is open to the public on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from noon to 6:00 pm. Admission is free. For information, call 514 343‐6111, ext. 4694 or visit www.expo.umontreal.ca.