ABOUT THE EXHIBITION // Vincent Leroy
The nature of a lense is to change the way you see what’s in front of you. What’s so unique about your work is that with most installations and sculptures, the focus of beauty is the sculpture itself. Your work is more of an experience in the sense that the sculpture is nothing without the world around it. It is simply a tool to see the world in a unique way. The beauty lies in the world itself, and you just help the viewer see it in a more interesting manner. It almost feels like this sculpture is a living organism silently observing its surroundings, Yes, that’s right I design something with are environement. The interaction with the place, the space is primodiale. It may be a bit like human people, we did not act in the same way in different situations. Do you feel like that sometimes, that they are alive? What is alive, it seems to me, is the interaction that can produce between the instalation and the space.
I installed Boreal Halo in very different places and different countries: France, Slovakia, Roumania and China. Each time I was myself a spectator and I let myself be surprised by this interaction always renewed. It was very enriching with always a new curiosity, new interest.
This sculpture reminds me of the first time I saw the Monolith from 2001 A Space Odyssey, is there a connection there? There’s not too much cinematographic reference in my work in general. On the other hand there is certainly a reference to the first spaceship that arrived on the moon, with its big legs in tripod. A little something came from elsewhere. Why is it important for this installation to be positioned in the center of the Rooftop helipad of the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower? I have always been fascinated by heliports to see landing tracks in general. These are places where the unknown can happen. Heliports also have the advantage of being positioned in surprising or unexpected locations. This gives them a particular attraction, a great singularity. The Mori Tower of Tokyo has the advantage of being very central offering an exceptional view of Tokyo. I had also spotted some in Hong Kong and Shanghai too. I started by taking a lot of pictures of this place in 2019. I didn’t know what I was going to do there, what to do with it. I’ve been conducting research on Fresnel’s lenses during 25 years. But it’s actually the particularity of this place that inspired me for the installation: Illusion Lens “Like a spaceship” is that where you drew inspiration from for this project? Space travel and otherworldly experiences? Exactly, but without really wanting it at the beginning of the idea search. I try to provoke curiosity, of the unexpected in the spectator. I was interested in the idea that the installation could have come to rest as if it had come from elsewhere.
Do you believe in aliens? Not too much but space seems so infinite that there must be unimaginable from nowhere. We can feel really small when one contemplates this infinite. This puts us well in our modest and small place. We need it now perhaps. How often do you question the nature of your reality?
Sorry I don't understand the question. Are you afraid of the future? I was rather confident in the future especially looking at what our elders could live: wars, revolutions... But it is true that climate change... poses big questions especially for the next generations. The immediate future I try to anticipate. I am rather a person of foresight. What was the last thing that made you laugh? One of my sons today told me he wanted a baboon. I imagined him with his baboon on his shoulder in the streets of Paris. Maybe a new fashion accessory, poor animal. Fortunately it remained in the state of mind. What’s your biggest motivation to get up in the morning? See my kids wake up, see how the sun and the sky are and prepare a good breakfast for all. Quite simple in fact. I also like to review what I drew the day before to discover with a new look. (If it's a different answer than the one above) What’s the best part of your day? There are many of them. But I particularly like to ramble on my bike in the streets of Paris. This enriches my search for ideas. It’s a kind of brean storming contemplation, something in between. I feel free on my bike and Paris has a good scale for contemplation. My mind can wander. What’s the strangest part of life?
Children, I always felt a little out of touch with the school system. I felt that at school I could not express what I knew by what the school did not need. There must be certainly a lot of kids in this situation. I was very lucky to have been able to do my job from the universe I developed as a child. I am taking great advantage of this gap in my professional life today. Every day I use what I invented on my parents' farm when I was a kid. I feel like I am continuing the games I invented when I was little. I made this «strangeness» a profession and a pleasure above all.
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