Ballade pour une boîte de verre — Diller Scofidio + Renfro


Installation, sound - music

Ballade pour une boîte de verre
Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Past: October 25, 2014 → February 22, 2015

The Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain continue to commemorate its 30th anniversary with Musings on a Glass Box, a new installation created especially for the occasion by the internationally acclaimed interdisciplinary design studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

The Fondation Cartier building designed by Jean Nouvel will be used as raw material for their work, a first in the history of the institution. Musings on a Glass Box is a complex work occupying the entire ground floor of the Fondation Cartier, where a disturbance in the ceiling will trigger a surprising reaction. The result is an immersive environment, including an integral acoustic component by American composer David Lang and sound designer Jody Elff, that works with the building’s architecture to raise questions about transparency, perception, and one’s relation to space.

Musings on a Glass Box « Jean Nouvel’s distinctive glass exhibition spaces in the Fondation Cartier have been a provocation to artists and curators for two decades, upending the conventions of the white box gallery and pushing the limits of architecture. The large, transparent walls of the building were at the forefront of glass technology in the ‘90s, aspiring to one of Modernism’s highest goals: to dematerialize the wall and seamlessly connect interior to exterior.

Musings on a Glass Box empties the ground floor galleries in order to put them on display. Their visual and acoustic qualities are heightened through a few strategically placed interventions in the building’s plumbing, electrical, and facade systems. Using a cliché of time lapsed and the appearance of neglect, the project begins with a single, mischievous leak from the ceiling. A response ensues with the aid of a bucket, a chorus, sensors, robotics, remote communications, video, and real-time sound processing. The two ground floor galleries interconnect in a feedback loop. Small gestures in the large gallery are amplified in the smaller one, making the familiar seem uncanny and turning the banal into the grotesque. » Diller Scofidio + Renfro

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Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Sans titre, 0 View of the Musings on a Glass Box exhibition Diller Scofidio+Renfro en collaboration avec David Lang et Jody Elff © Luc Boegly

Diller Scofidio + Renfro is an interdisciplinary studio that fuses architecture with the visual and performing arts. It was co-founded in 1979 by Elizabeth Diller, Professor at Princeton University School of Architecture, and by Ricardo Scofidio, Professor Emeritus of Architecture at Cooper Union. Charles Renfro, currently a Visiting Professor at Parsons New School for Design, became Partner in 2004.

David Lang is an American composer based in New York, founder of the music collective Bang on a Can, and member of the Yale School of Music Composition faculty. Jody Elff is a sound artist living and working in New York City.

14 Paris 14 Zoom in 14 Paris 14 Zoom out

261, boulevard Raspail

75014 Paris

T. 01 42 18 56 50 — F. 01 42 18 56 52

Official website


Opening hours

Every day except Monday, 11 AM – 8 PM
Late night on Tuesday until 10 PM

Admission fee

Full rate €10,50 — Concessions €7.00

The artists

  • Diller Scofidio + Renfro
  • David Lang
  • Jody Elff