Exhibition design for 'Feux continus', Musée du Grand Hornu (Belgium)
Porcelain in the Best Light
How do you present objects made of porcelain in the best light? The Lausanne-based designer Adrien Rovero has created a scenography for porcelain objects from the factory in Sèvres which attests to his ability to competently handle light and space. For the exhibition 'Feux Continus', it is mainly light that is used to modulate the objects. Using a series of floodlights to illuminate the exhibits, he cleverly defines light and shade zones and with variations in light also determines the atmosphere in the rooms of the Belgian 'Musée du Grand Hornu'. It is Adrien Roveros' ambition to create maximum effect with minimal means. For his scenography is not to distract from the exhibits. In a first room, he sets up grandstands. On the staircase landings, the exhibits are placed like spectators in an arena, illuminated by strong and direct headlight beams, just like in a stadium. In a second room, where larger sculptural objects are shown, oversized lamp shades are suspended from the ceiling, creating pleasantly intimate islands of light. In the next room, only white curtains can be seen at first, lighted by floodlights on tripods. In this way, viewers are made curious to find out what is happening behind the curtains. Behind them, on a huge table, objects are shown ('La table de Sèvres'). At the same time, the curtains filter the floodlight, thereby ensuring an unusually bright yet soft light. Depending on what is suitable, Adrien Rovero creates very different lighting and room atmospheres which he adeptly varies across the 1,600m² exhibition area. Created by 40 artists for the factory in Sèvres, the porcelain and ceramics designs are shown to their best advantage. Rovero's wide-ranging design repertoire successfully combines the simple with the unusual and the well-known with the unexpected. The fact that his scenography invariably succeeds in showing the exhibits to best effect is especially impressive. The designer who has been teaching at the ECAL in Lausanne for two years and who was already a winner in 2007 is awarded a prize for the second time.