Canadian Cultural Centre

5 rue de Constantine, 75007 Paris/France

May 16 to September 6, 1997

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Press Release

Miniaturized urban catastrophes, labyrinths on paper where the methodical construction of a fictional world takes on the aspect of a scientific project. Heaps and accumulations proposing an order and its subversion - this is what « Tower-Tour » is composed of. It is a project that plays with our understanding of knowledge as well as with the limits between sculpture and installation, between mythical construction and event.
Constructions made of bread, documentary plates, videos, one of them showing the building of a city and its collapse, the other its underground desertion or regeneration. Pat Badani borrows the architect's planimetric designs, note-taking and documentation of work-sites, the geologist's topographical drawings and the surveyor's methods of prospecting.
With a life-path that embraces the south of the Americas to Canada and to France where she now lives, Pat Badani puts her signature on an art-work where the meeting of multiple cultural conceptions gives way to the collective dream of building. (1997)

Solo exhibition curated by Catherine Bédard
and Christophe Domino

A publication accompanies the exhibition : « Pat Badani- Tower-Tour », 48 pages, bilingual, texts by Ch. Domino and C. Bédard, B&W and colour reproductions.

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bread-bowl installation of variable dimensions

Paris Bakers

Text by Pat Badani: "Tower-Tour" is a hybrid installation-work that I began in 1994. I initially produced this work in collaboration with the food industry. In a sustained effort with five bakers, I molded and baked thousands of bread-bowls during 3 years in a medieval Paris bakery. The bread-bowls are my building-blocks to build fictional structures for habitation and imaginary cities.
I use a city built of bread-bowls to draw parallels between past and present transformations in social space. I exploit the material and the form in their anthropological and symbolic dimensions. The bread-bowl is a visual marker that refers back to the origin of agriculture and the first sedentary social formations. Both bread and bowl-making signal the development of craftsmanship and the raising of cities.
I use cities as theme in order to explore world-making. Some of my questions are: How many worlds are there? What are worlds made of? How are they made? The myth of The Tower of Babel and Jorge Luis Borges' "The Library of Babel" refer to worlds constructed in relation to knowledge. They have served to nourish my questionings.

Excerpt from the text by Christophe Domino, "Tower-Tour" catalogue, p. 24.: "The work on Tower-Tour began from a minimalist, sculptural act, performed on a primary resource... (bread). Pat Badani chanced upon a form-matrix, ...first contained, then containing: the form of a bowl, a handheld object that appears naturally predisposed to serial reproduction...Now full, now empty, the concave form of the bowl is an invitation to fit inside each other, to pile up, to form towers... A Babel of bread, a tower of dough, the city as organism...Piled or impaled on metallic supports, the bowls form structures of varying sizes. Some elude their verticality by posing as sheets, planes, terraces, or hanging gardens (Babel and Babylon are one and the same); others do so by appearing to rise up and out, to overflow, as if the city were bleeding and confessing its organic consistency.From this structure in constant mutation, Pat Badani has explored several directions and several vantage points. Video, which captures the infinitely repetitive tale of collapse and ruin...the photographic image..."

Installation views
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Installation views at the 100m2 gallery space

The "Tower-Tour" installation comprises four bread-bowl constructions, two videos, and four long documentary plates. The documentary plates are composed of graphics organized in horizontal display units. These explore 4 different topologies through a multiplicity of self-generated documents: photographs, drawings, collages and watercolours. I created a labyrinthine trajectory for the exhibition through the use of the gallery's modular walls, offering a circulation with several points of entry and exit, as shown in the following maquette.

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Documentary Plates

Excerpt from the text by Ch. Domino, "Tower-Tour" catalogue, Notes on the Plates, p. 29: "Model of modern science and dream of shared understanding, the synoptic plate offers a globalizing vision that Pat Badani uses as a realm in itself.....Between picture to look at and page to read, the plates stage the exhibition in such a way that the gaze can circulate from plate to plate....The motive for resorting to this support is double and on two degrees. A good image of this practice is the puzzle whose principle establishes a dialectic between the global and the fragmentary, unity as accessible ideal and fragmentation as starting point..."

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"Air-Eau", documentary plate (detail), 122cm. x 350cm.
(the four plates are composed of photos, photo-montages, watercolours, drawings and collages)

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"Demarcations", documentary plate (detail), 122cm. x 350cm.

Excerpt from the text by Ch. Domino, p. 29.: "The plates are, or at least can be, rearranged with each exhibition. They bear every resemblance to logical constructs and titles are chosen accordingly, confirming, often in ironic tones, their didactic authority. Somewhere between geography, ecology and techno-urban futurism, between road notes, picture book manuals and the pseudo-scientific stories of Blake and Mortimer, these plates offer room for multiple readings."


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Still from one of the videos: "Last and Least"

Bread-bowl constructions

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"Metropolis", installation at the Canadian Cultural Centre
(bread-bowls, metal supports, laminated wood base)

"Entitled Metropolis, this model of the model offers the viewer another dimension. It will serve for various open-ended sculpture that will occupy space differently with each installation, its frail stacks marking out odd urban landscapes which offer the charm of a builder's model, yet also the anxiety of a metropolitan maze, or the vision of its catastrophic ruin..." (Ch. Domino, p. 25, 26)

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"Snake", malleable cord composed of bread-bowls

"Once reduced to the size of Metropolis, the bread-bowl produces another metamorphosis which becomes an object in its own right. By hundreds, small bowls have been strung onto a rope forming an inert snake with movable joints...From a mass, the snake becomes line, both separator and link..." (Ch. Domino, p.26)

Text by Pat Badani: "Snake" is an ongoing project in urban and non-urban spaces around the world. I take a piece of the malleable bread sculpture with me when I travel and I use it to delineate, separate or unify spaces. I install a fragment of the bread-cord and leave it in place until its partial or total disappearance. "Snake" has been weathered out by climatic conditions or

consumed by various animals

in different geographical sites, a process documented through video and through photography. These documents and other graphics explore the notion of unstable boundaries and are shown in the documentary plate titled "Demarcations".

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"Snake" (partially consumed) hung from the Center's 6 story building

Projects 2006 - 1999
-New Media Projects
-Where Life is Better
Projects 1999 - 1997
-Cultures & Ferments
Projects 1997 - 1993
-R'èvolution des Particules
Professional Information
-Biographic Note
-Statement / Texts

all images © Pat Badani 1990-2006

Drawing Drawing Bread Bowl Drawing Vegetable Garden Bread River Drawing Drawing Bowl Garden Drawing Hay Stack Drawing Drawing Drawing Drawing Drawing Drawing Hole Snake