40mcube Le Château
30, avenue Sergent Maginot
35000 Rennes

Invited as the artist in residence at 40mcube from July 1 to September 30, 2007, Benoît-Marie Moriceau offered a new outlook on the interpretation of the Castle’s architecture. Playing off the eerie strangeness exuded by this old house, he comes up with the idea of covering the entire building in black.

Benoît-Marie Moriceau’s art intervenes with space and architecture. For Chantier public #2, the exhibit organized by 40mcube in 2005, he redefines the boundaries of the exhibit space with the aid of partitions, doors and other facilities. This installation temporarily changed the layout and character of the site using a cross between sculpture and architecture.

Starting with an imaginary place in mind, Moriceau took over the Castle as a set. The exhibit, Psycho, refers to a swath of cinema and literature. In the Hitchcock movie of the same name, a house represents the whole mystery of the story. Filmed with a backlight and shot at a low angle, the house appears dark and still. In his last novel, Lunar Park, the American author Bret Easton Ellis transforms a house into a stage for supernatural occurrences leaving the reader wondering whether these events are real or invented by the author.

Aside from the historical and fantastical references, a correlation can be drawn between him and a long line of artists who practice monochrome, whether on canvas or on objects.

In painting the Castle black, Moriceau is also updating a piece of cultural heritage. At the beginning of the 20th century, black buildings were rare. Today they are fairly widespread and have an improved status in contemporary architecture. On a similar note, the work of Moriceau takes the opposite side of the architecture and exhibit space of the white cube. He proposes an impenetrable black block which in turn transforms architecture into artwork. The building is accepted in its external form, unified by the black paint. As both the exhibit space and the exhibit, the Castle become in and of itself a sculpture in a public space.

Photo : Laurent Grivet.