George Rousse  
{para one}Art is magic. Illusions created artists offer us new ways of seeing. The mysteries of perspective -- how to translate the three dimensional world into two dimensions -- were unraveled by artists/mathematicians at the end of the 14th century. To create the illusion of space on a flat surface, the rules of perspective rely on a single viewing point from which all lines of the drawing are then determined. Contemporary French artist Georges Rousse takes perspective drawing to another reality. Rousse does not manipulate lines on flat paper to create an illusion of space but rather he alters the "real" world such that from a particular angle it appears flat. Rousse's art plays tricks with our eyes where the reality between three dimensions and two become blurred. Rousse uses paint and chalk on the interior walls of disused buildings to create these illusory works. He then records them photographically. An exhibition of nearly 70 of his photographs and one installation are on display at the Teien Museum of Art in Meguro. In Rousse's photographs, colored checkerboards appear to hover in space, strange geometric forms float in mid air and words or letters appear to jut out into the middle of a room. Rousse's art is painstakingly planned, plotted and painted onto the walls and floors of disused buildings, which are often soon to be demolished. The full illusory effect can only be fully appreciated when viewed from a single exact point. Rousse captures this perfect view through the lens of his large format camera. He photographs his perspective manipulations in extra-ordinary detail and subtly lighted to enhance the effect. Two videos playing in the museum show the Rousse at work and reveal his artistic magic. Rousse uses a projector to screen the image of the shape he is creating onto the architectural space. He then draws the outline and paints in the various elements. One blue square, in a checkerboard of colored squares, might have blue elements painted on the floor, wall and the doorway of two adjoining rooms. Only when viewed from his chosen spot do these fragments of blue coalesce into the square. Rousse's art, however, is not just smoke and mirror trickery, woven into some of these works are other meanings. Words such a LIEU (place) or VOX (voice) appear to float within semi-demolished hotel rooms and take on multiple meanings in these dilapidated surroundings. Other works include snippets of poetic French philosophy painted on the walls of a crumbling apartment block. For this exhibition Rousse created a new perspective installation. With a team of helpers he transformed a narrow corridor of the museum into a giant map of Hiroshima. When this corridor is viewed standing a few meters back, it becomes a flat, black and white map of "ground zero".

 

 

through June 3 Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum Tel: 03.3443.8500 Shirokanedai 5-21-9, (National Park for Nature Study) Adults Y800, children Y400 10:00 18:00 closed Mondays Nearest JR Meguro, Namboku line, Shirokanedai