Starting from a year and a half of residency in the Espace Destrier, Evelyne de Behr and Léa Mayer nourished a project which links their artistic practices, the evolution of the site and its past, present and future inhabitants.
Both invested in the Destrier estate since 2016, the two artists have had several meetings with the occupants. Discussions about the history and memory of the place have oriented their research, directly inspired by this specific cultural, social and urban context.
D. Door is the full-scale reproduction of a door-opening in an apartment, the very same one where the two artists stayed in residency and which will soon be demolished in order to leave space for more sustainable housing.
Molded on site with identical orientation to its original set up, this door is today a threshold open on its surrounding landscape : a shared, multifunctional green space, away from the urban hubbub.
Some details bring up its origins : a narrow section of a wall shows the trace of a switch, the
moldings evoke the somewhat outdated charm of a dining or living room where everyone can virtually
project oneself. The table is gone, like the hallway and the chairs. If it no longer smells of black soap, cooking and tobacco, if concrete has replaced woodwork, there is definitely enough to summon up the memory and ethos of the domestic universes.
Almost all houses have a door frame where the size and name of the children are written. It is similar here, because the D. door is also a height chart : every year, during the day of the Door, the inhabitants of the district are invited to use it, activating the work and participating to its evolution. Nothing is more universal than this measurement of beings and time, this mindful attention to childhood, writing itself inch by inch, then from stratum to stratum, over the generations.
Léa Mayer and Evelyne de Behr bring together the collective memory of a place and the singular memories of beings, they de-territorialize domestic space in the benefit of social exchanges, they invite intimacy on the threshold of a common becoming.
There are many monuments having only the horizon to measure up to. There are others, more rare, impressed by gestures below or beyond symbols and which really work on creating links.
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photo credit: Gilles Ribéro