In his exhibition ALUMINIUM, Théophile Blandet develops his ongoing interest in the future of materials, this time focusing on aluminum. Departing from the use of unrecyclable industrial plastics, Blandet decided to shift to working with aluminum, comparing the material to gold, both resources soft metals that never run out of use. The designer makes the claim that aluminum is one of the materials of the future, the third most abundant resource on earth, every part of the metal is recyclable and can be remelted and reused an infinite number of times.
For this new series, Blandet draws from the Light and Space as well as the Processartistic movements.The preoccupation with the viewers perception and participation, as well as the focus on the multi-sensory is crucial in these new works, and the process by which the work was made is evident in the end result – the forms and shapes that the works take are directly informed by the material and process by which they were made.
Each work was created through an immensely physical and laborious process; working and reworking the aluminum using plasma, fusion, hammering, bending, firing and sandblasting. This method involved weeks and weeks of intense, noisy, dusty rough work to shape the materials in order to reach the goals that Blandet set for each piece. Although the fabrication process was at times wild and uncontrolled, the result is surprising in its intentionality and strong lines. Each work is extremely accurately crafted, making reference to the aesthetics and proportions of furniture-making history.
This tension between the difficult process of working with aluminum and the simplicity and cleanness of the design unearths and reveals the possibilities of the material. Blandet’s new works are soft, they play with perception and are full of light. Minimalist in their conception, the details, possibilities, humor and even poetry in the works create sculptures that contain a history rooted much deeper than their purity first suggests.