A: Your work seems to be interested in the idea of utopian beauty; how far do you think that the urban landscape you feature, and we live in, is something that can be described as this?
AE: My work explores what it means to inhabit the territory but also an image, an object or a space, and this is to do with a primitive desire. So when it comes to desire, it is true that the question of idealization is part of the equation. In this exhibition, it is the relation between the interior and the exterior, the distance between these two conditions, on one hand the domestic comfort and on the other the brutality of nature. They both look at each other with amazement. It is the act of gazing through a window, whether you’re looking in or out, there is always a part of idealization and transformation of the other side.
A: The sense that nature has been imprinted by the constant movement of our changing cultures is apparent in your exhibited works, can you talk a little bit about it as your source of inspiration?
AE: Yes it is a great source of inspiration for me, I am fascinated by the diversity of interpretations of nature.Especially when it is political, for example the differences between Louis XIV and Louis XV ornaments and how they could define a certain part of history but also the vision of a king behind it.
A: How important is diversity to you, both in your mix of materials and in the different architectural structures that you draw from?
AE: First this diversity is important for me in the production, each material I use has a real role in the process of my projects. so certain projects couldn’t be possible in an another material. Secondly in the exhibition space there is a particular alchemy in the relations of materials which is necessary for me. In this show there is for example something happening between the dull matte of plaster and the reflection of the photographay, two realities that feed each others.
A: Structures can often be associated with rituals and memories; do you think that your artistic practice is filled with them as well?
AE: Certain projects like the watercolors I am showing especially focus on a ritual. In this project called voeux (wishes), its about the relation of a contact between architecture and a fragile image. How architecture can accept the act of making a painting real by gluing it on the wall. The fragility of the paper on which the watercolors are painted transform this act of contact into a definitive and desperate one.
A: How would you describe the exhibition space as a host for your various sculptures and photo-collages; as setting is important in the internal focus of your works, how does the external gallery space resonate with them?
AE: I see the exhibition space as a public space. My works try to embrace this idea and what it means in term of what you could decide in there and what happens with people leaving with it.
A: What have you got planned in terms of future projects?
AE: I am working on a public sculpture, a tiny metallic chest hidden on a dyke in the harbor of Marseille and a solo show in Paris in October.
Antoine Espinasseau’s, Decorations Near The House is held at The Dot Project from 18 March until 8 May.
1. Antoine Espinasseau, Images from the exhibition Decorations Near The House. Courtesy of The Dot Project.