Bertrand Lamarche

Lamarche’s investigation of visions in city planning, architectonic surfaces, public space, urban vegetation, and weather phenomena, his excursions into high and pop culture are closely connected to questions of representation. While his works reference the reduced and abstract formal canon of modern art and architecture and the theoretical approaches of conceptual and minimal art, they are always based on an element of the fantastic, theatrical, and burlesque. Lamarche’s usage of artificial fog, mirrors, light, and projection is characteristic for his sculptures and closed-circuit video installations; he always lends an ambivalent, performative character to the material he appropriates from his scientific and historical research, which is often static, functional, and geometric.

Le Haut du Lièvre

The film consists of a tracking shot across one of the biggest housing projects (400 meters long) ever made in France. Located on a hill in the city of Nancy, this project by Bernard Zerfuss is an idealistic gesture, typical of the 60’s, a project between land art and architecture that would soon be stigmatized among other giant projects and considered a mistake in many ways.

The film was made ten years before the building project would be transformed to a shortened proposal. Half of it was turned down. The curves and the wavy moving image, due to the fact that the on-ride video was shot by the artist riding a bicycle, give the film a sense of fluidity and vertigo. The soundtrack is a Kate Bush song played backwards, emphasizing the rubbing like feeling in the image, like being in a melancholic nightmare.


A pipeline produces a heavy fog that spreads out onto an unfolded tissue. This creates a kind of geographical model, with valleys and hills, which evokes a desert like or an entropic landscape. Each activation creates the new Map of a fantasy plot, which only exists until its own disappearance. Between land art and modalism, Map sets up the fictive topography of a territory, where fog sets up a geological motif, ephemeral and evanescent.

Bertrand Lamarche, Le Haut du Lièvre, 2012 Courtesy galerie Jérôme Poggi, Paris
Vue de l’exposition au FRAC Centre
Vue de l’exposition au FRAC Centre Courtesy galerie Jérôme Poggi, Paris — Photo © Nicolas Brasseur
Bertrand Lamarche, Map, 2011 Installation view, « Plutot que rien : démontage », Maison populaire de Montreuil Courtesy galerie Jérôme Poggi, Paris
The Fog Factory

The Fog Factory is a project designed for the train station area of the city of Nancy. This project consistes of differents buildings and equipments: a well, a watter-tower and a modified industrial building that makes possible to create a zone filled up with fog. The place was chosen for the qualities of the space there, that is located in the center of the city and it has a very banal and yet theatrical atmosphere.

In the big model of Nancy, the fog is distributed via the aeration vents of the former Prouvé postal sorting center ’reprogrammed’ as a an artificial fog factory, supplied with water from a subterranean container in the form of an inverted tower.

His architecture does not aim to replicate the forms or qualities of natural elements In an Imitative way, notably like Franck Gehry; rather It ls the fog that constitutes the architecture, an artificial copy of a meteorological phenomenon, mechanically produced but randomly dlstributed and imponderable, It is also the paradox of the umbelliferic garden, where the constraint of the enclosure and the hazards.
of the vacant lot are arranged.

Text by François Piron, Drag city" in THE FUNNEL, 2008 (Ed HYX)

The Umbelliferic Terrain

The Umbelliferic Terrain, which exists ln the form of a digitally animated film and a text by the artist, Initially published in the Nancy catalog In 1998 and reworked for its publication in this book, ls a project to plant giant umbels on the vacant land running between the John F. Kennedy viaduct and the stand of giant hogweeds, giant umbels, to create a wild garden, offering a dramatic shift in scale’’ and thrusting the visitor into an Alice-in-Wonderland-like landscape. The umbellifenc terrain ’’is exclusively planted with umbels. The surface of the land is perfectly flat, even though it ls covered by foliage In its horizontal density, which testifies to this flatness for the visitor standing up to the knees In this thick green carpet. The parc is large and dense enough that visitors can loose site of all visible bearings, beyond the hogweeds However, It possible to keep one’s distance from the plants lf one wishes, by staying on the alleys cutting through the park. They are necessary because one must not touch the umbels.

When in bloom, simple contact of the skin or rubbing the leaves or stems causes visible skin painful and persistent eruptions. A light but fully covering suit, with a hood, and gloves are advised when visiting umbelliferic terrain’s.

Text by François Piron, « Drag city » in THE FUNNEL, 2008 (Ed HYX)

Lobby (Hyper Tore)

Lobby (Hyper Tore) is a hollow torus formed by a length of flexible aluminium ducting, laid on a plywood base. The object, equipped with a motor fixed to two rotating discs that seal the duct ends, effects a full revolution, turning in on itself. Animated by perpetual movement that gives an illusion of simultaneous retraction and regeneration, the device moves and gleams, apparently caught in a trap that tends to make it look like an organism on the verge of mutating.

The work’s architectural dimension should be considered, on one hand, in terms of the torus, an element that in architecture denotes a semi-cylindrical moulding round the base of a column or pillar; and, on the other hand, with regard to the meaning conferred by the work’s title. The word lobby describes an entrance hall or corridor—in any case, a transitory place. As a reduced-model prototype of a changeover, Lobby (Hyper Tore), by dint of its hypnotic character, could well be an invitation to enter an enigmatic subterranean world figuratively expressed by the dizzying, yawning gap of the torus: a fake vortex with ti high power of attraction.

Ann Lou Vicente, 2008

Bertrand Lamarche, The Fog Factory, 2012 Vue de l’exposition au FRAC Centre, The Fog Factory ( 2005-2011) au Premier plan et Réplique ( Baphometre), 2008 en Arrière Plan — Photo © Nicolas Brasseur.
Bertrand Lamarche, Le Terrain Ombellifèrique, 2005 Installation vidéo Courtesy galerie Jérôme Poggi, Paris
Bertrand Lamarche, Lobby (Hyper-tore), 2004 Sculpture — 160 × 160 × 60 cm Collection du centre Pompidou — Courtesy galerie Jérôme Poggi, Paris

Bertrand Lamarche


Architecture, installation, mixed media

French artist born in 1966 in Paris, France. 

Paris, France

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