The Recharge of Pierre Loti

Collective Exhibition

The installation follows the shape of the basement of Pierre Loti’s house. At the center, two drawings (P8A: The cartography of Rochefort, P8B: The plan of the basement of the house of Pierre Loti) serve as keys – legends – to the installation. This is a playful home – a space that is at once textual and immaterial; a house of memories; a place he can breathe; a childhood home; a home he never truly leaves. Theodora Kanelli represents the house as a kind of horizontal map, hung vertically on the wall and composed of diverse spaces – of “mental spaces.”

If the installation takes inspiration from a blueprint of the house’s basement, this is because these subterranean spaces are linked to the concept of recovery, of convalescence. The first chapter of Let’s Bark, says the dog explains this idea in another way: the narrator follows Cerberus into the depths beneath the city of Athens in a search for a place to “recharge.” The first time Theodora worked with the concept of “recharging” was during her studies in architecture. The verb “recharge” is sometimes used for the act of reloading a ship. The location in which one “recharges” is linked to the space in which one can be alone, in order to “recharge one’s batteries.” That space might be a bedroom, a movie theater; it might be somewhere warm or with an expanse of water, as in a beach or bath, all of which serve as spaces in which one can nest.

It seems that PL also has a preference for the water when it comes to “recharging.” He needs to flee by boat; he needs the fluidity of the water. Theodora focuses on PL’s creative process and its ties to fantasy, to coming and going. For PL, the ship is a place where movement is paused – a place of deactivation – and, at the same time, a place of reflection. His travels are solitary and ephemeral, and he always returns home. This is a return from a “previous life” to his most intimate space. Once home, he needs a place for his memories, and he transforms his house into a kind of living museum, filled with the symbolic elements of his travels. Theodora is interested in the particularities of the home’s architecture: this space is one where everything happens inside – from the outside, it is a house like any other – and which lends itself as though instinctively to theatrical scenography. PL’s home serves as a living representation of the concept of “recharging.”

Organized by: Centre International de la Mer

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