Archisalé

A highly spectacular display that takes up the entire 200 m2 exhibition space, this installation brings to light the sensory atmosphere of the Gruyère region, inviting viewers to experience the infinitesimal.
«Archisalé» (super salty) crystallizes a story belonging to that region: it grants visibility and sonority to all that has dissolved in the meantime, to the soldiers sent to France and Italy over the centuries and to the salt against which they were exchanged. Salt had become precious. It had become an indispensable ingredient in cheese-making and, as such, it became inextricably linked to the prosperity of the Gruyère region.
The installation/immersion is akin to a cityscape, thanks to its mock-ups of buildings, its rows of low-rise buildings. It exists as an ex-nihilo city floating in the darkness and spread out across four islets. By turns phosphorescent, moonlike, it is a city that cracks, sighs, vibrates. Suddenly, it appears flooded with light, all shining facades out of salt crystals, to the tune of whispering voices—voices that invite, recite, and arrest.
It is a paradoxically dizzying experience for viewers: an anonymous city spawning repetitive typologies and bereft of inhabitants, and yet emitting a rumble, awakening memories and featuring voices. The effect is to invite the subjective, the sensitive, the organic, be it against a background that is all in objective and cold uniformity.

Sound installation: Sara Oswald and Bertrand Siffert.

Florence Grivel, exhibition Curator