From May 4 to June 16, 2019, Julie Balagué’s Utopia / Maladrerie exhibition will be held in partnership with the Centre d’Arts Plastiques d’Aubervilliers (CAPA). The exhibition brings together photographs, texts, sound installations and sculptures. Conceived with the inhabitants of the district, the project stages people, that become characters, in an architecture that became a decor. This work thus questions the economic, political and psychosociological orientations of the initial architectural project of the “Maladrerie” district, designed in the 1970s by architect Renée Gailhoustet. The exhibition takes place in the CAPA gallery, one of the 1,000 housing units in the area made available by the OPH of Aubervilliers, and is part of an innovative project initiated by Juliette Fontaine (CAPA director) to put in contact contemporary artistic creation with the population of this sensitive neighborhood.
This work comes from the national photographic commission of the Regards du Grand Paris of the Ministry of Culture – Medici Workshops and National Center of Plastic Arts.
The creative work with the inhabitants was supported by a residence of the Department of Seine-Saint-Denis.
The district of La Maladrerie, in Aubervilliers (93) is one of the most remarkable achievements of urban architecture of the 1970s. This microcosm a little apart was imagined by Renée Gailhoustet. The architect then aims to rethink the links between the city and social housing. She has just completed the construction of the city center of Ivry-sur-Seine (94) at the time when the renovation project of the district of the Maladrerie is entrusted to her. Between 1975 and 1984, a total of 9 hectares and 1,000 dwellings, all different, were created. Shops, socio-cultural facilities and artists’ studios are part of the whole. Abandoning the well-worn model of bars and towers, the architectural experience she leads to Aubervilliers aims to change the status of social housing in the urban fabric. Futuristic architecture mixing concrete, glass, green terraces and angular forms, it leaves a large space for pedestrian traffic and vegetation. A kind of utopia in the red suburbs.
The Utopia / Maladrerie project focuses on the urban territory as a representation of the economic, political and psychosociological orientations of the architectural project. This work considers the notion of architectural utopia and the way in which the inhabitants were able to seize it. Conceived with the inhabitants of the district, these images of staged people, that become characters. The architecture becomes scenery, and the habitat, a stage. These images draw the border between the daily life of a territory, and the utopia from which it originates.
This set is a reflection of the popular neighborhoods of Île-de-France. Many nationalities are represented, the population is very young, the economic and social problems are numerous. At the crossroads of Greater Paris and the future equipment of the 2024 Olympic Games, this project also draws a portrait of the fragile neighborhoods of the Paris suburbs: cosmopolitan, dynamic, but also too often left out from the policies of the city that followed one another , again and again.
Utopia / Maladrerie – The Great Paris’ Looks
May 4 to June 16, 2019
In an apartment of the Maladrerie
3, Gustave Courbet alley