Marc Giai-Miniet‘s Kafkaesque dolls houses are very strange indeed. There’s nothing cute and sweet going on here. His libraries, that sit on top of spooky basements, laboratories, storage rooms, interrogation cells, stairs, alleyways, ovens, drains and outbound docks draw in you in, make you wonder what’s going on – what is the story going on underground, what’s the relationship between the top and bottom of the house? Is there an army of troglodytes living underneath us?
Perhaps Miniet is trying to convey a sense of horror, an unknown, unspeakable evil that lives beneath our everyday lives. Who knows? What is clear is that these dioramas are incredibly intricate, wonderfully made and alot smaller than you think, many of them only a metre high. What I find most interesting about his work is that books are omnipresent. They always reside at the top of the building. What importance do the books have? What do they represent?
Here’s what Giai-Miniet has to say about his work:
Over time my constructions becoming increasingly large, the characters have disappeared and books, whole libraries, have taken place in conjunction with laboratories, storage rooms, or waiting interrogation cells, stairs, alleyways, ovens, drains or outbound docks …
I understand that the books were burned, and figured, were painful metaphor of human life, both spirit and matter and inexorably doomed to their fate. Not only because the books can be burned, but sometimes also by the knowledge transmitted in, we “burn”, we transform accompany us or lead us astray … in a vision become “existential.”
Human thought is written partly in fundamental books claimed by both saints and tyrants. Men show their books to the beauty of the universe but also their peremptory chasms. Fragile and ephemeral as they are able to imbue our minds with the vision of happiness possible, of spiritual enthusiasm and hope, able also to enroll the worst horrors. Everyone will see, the whiteness of the black books sewers, a journey, a constant back and forth between the two major poles of man bestiality and transcendence, human frailty and divine inaccessible.
The statement is hard to make sense of but I’m afraid I’m not fluent in French and have to rely on the google translation of the text. Apologies.
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