What Eric Hattan has to propose happens in the commune of Confignon, along a straight avenue several kilometres long, characterised by a symmetry and repetitiveness of elements: poles, lampposts, trees and so on, lined up at regular intervals.
The artist sets to work on eleven of the sixty lampposts along this road, transforming them as sculptures while conserving their function (of providing street lighting and supporting the overhead wires for the tram). Twisted, bent back on itself, misshaped or, reassembled – each one of them turns into a unique and unexpected sculpture, sometimes verging on the impossible. The whole work is reeled off like a film sequence, with the posts appearing one after the other as the transport vehicles move along.
Eric Hattan uses his imagination to break the rhythm and monotony of urban furnishings. These objects produced in series to be strictly identical turn into unique sculptures demanding to be looked at and arousing surprise, because of the extent to which their shape sometimes appears to be in contradiction with their function. The artist brings surprise and poetry into a place where there are no huge contours to begin with and lets his humour get to work on the aesthetically insipid objects.
This playful reassignment of functional objects also suggests a re-appropriation of the city and its organisation. The changed shapes of the lampposts do indeed appeal to everyone’s imagination; the poles seem to have been twisted and uprooted from the ground by an extraordinary force, thus turning them all into supports for inventing all sorts of story. A townscape without any particular quality thus changes on the way into a landscape of the mind. Playing around with the city in this way gives a more human dimension back to it, even though city life tends, on the contrary, to pin back individual space and freedom.
As is his custom, the artist is not setting out to deliver a critical message but to heighten our awareness for perfectly ordinary things by restoring visibility to objects that had disappeared behind their functionality and the banality of their shape.