2KM3 | A new platform for urban art (in a former parking garage)
One of the most ambitious projects dedicated to urban art has just opened in the south-eastern town of Saint-Gervais, France, June 2.
2KM3 is a new initiative launched by the mayor of Saint-Gervais, Jean-Marc Peillex, in an underground, multi-storey car park, where curator Hugues Chevallier and artist Frédéric Battle (Zoer) have invited 12 French and international artists to take over the space’s 11 floors and its façade.
2KM3 — or 2000 cubic meters — is the amount of space given to each artist to work with during a residency running from May 15 through 31, which will anticipate the space’s opening.
The garage — a symbol of modern life and “non-spaces” as defined by ethnologist Marc Augé — is a place where all forms of artistic and poetic creativity are made possible at 2KM3. A place where artists Elian Chali, (Argentina) Etienne de Fleurieu, (France) Felipe Pantone, (Argentina) Jaw (France), Roids (UK), SatOne (Germany), Sobekcis, (Serbia) Sten & Lex, (Italy) Swiz (France) and Zoer & Velvet (Die-Cast) (Spain/France) have decided to give a new dimension to this space of urban transition. One able to operate both in harmony with the city’s landscape and its inhabitants, and with the complex, peculiar architecture of the garage.
Between preliminary sketches and finished works, they reveal the richness of in situ creation and open up a space for both improvisation and pragmatic reflection. How to reconcile contemporary art with those architectural, social and aesthetic spaces of its conception?
SatOne — Courtesy the artist
SatOne (third floor) found his answer to this question in the imagination: the illustrator and self-employed artist based in Munich attempts to make visible the trace of passing cars in a parking lot through forms and colors painted on the ceiling that seek to embody the movement of the wheels as a sort of reflection. A mirror recording what happens on the ground, before it disappears with the passing of time.
Zoer (sixth floor) has concentrated on the limitations of such a non-space. The very low ceiling, elongated passageways and general lack of light, have led the artist to rethink the structure and perception of space. In mixing the creative universes of figuration, neo-cubism, and conceptual art, and by referring to different physical geometries, Zoer attempts to create a sense of visual fragmentation: an attempt to expand the viewer’s sense of space and time.
Swiz — Courtesy the artist
Sobekcis — Courtesy the artist
Elian Chali (eighth floor) has created a dialogue between the space’s architecture and the colorful forms he painted on its walls. Through anamorphosis, Chali opens his work to different readings, calling visitors to inhabit the space and reflect on its composition, colors and those emotions it evokes.
Jaw (ninth floor) has given his space an organic dimension. He has attempted to create an oneiric universe, one where lines and colors intertwine, creating a tridimensional dynamic that completely erases the original architecture of the space.
Swiz (eleventh floor) transforms his floor into a four-dimensional canvas, inviting visitors to inhabit the artwork. The repetition of geometrical shapes creates a space of fragmentation. One in which the audience is able to inhabit and explore both physically and mentally.
2KM3 reflects a desire, on the part of the city of Saint-Gervais, to rethink itself — to be more open to new audiences and new art forms by reinventing public spaces and turning them into places of free artistic expression: one of the city’s main priorities in cultural policy.
2KM3 is supported by the city of Saint-Gervais, its Tourism office, as well as the patronage of Grosset-Janin, SEMCODA, Carré d’Or, NEXALIA, the regional council of Haute-Savoie, DOCTEGESTIO, BABILOU, STBMA, the société nouvelle des Thermes, the Groupe Tranchant and Monsieur Basit Igtet / Chairman Athal Hospitality.
Zoer — photo Chaima Ben Haj Ali
Jaw — Photo Chaïma Ben Haj Ali
Velvet — Photo Chaïma Ben Haj Ali