Mathieu Lehanneur

the 28 June 2019
Mathieu Lehanneur - © Villa Noailles Hyères

L’Horizon des particules

A chimney breast sculpted like geological strata, large trees diffusing a refreshing mist, a marble block positioned upon blown glass bubbles, a fossilised piece of the ocean...
For several years now, Mathieu Lehanneur has developed a unique and innovative approach in the field of design. Inspired by science, technology, craftsmanship, and the arts, he creates unique connections between the living world and objects: from therapeutic molecules to ancestral symbols. In his work, biology brushes shoulders with the artisanal, primitive nature is blended with digital tools, and passing time plays with the weather; like a brief history of humanity. In the exhibition “L’Horizon des particules”, Mathieu Lehanneur combines a great number of his preoccupations through a corpus of projects, some of which are unique pieces whilst others have been mass-produced.
Taken from the vocabulary of astrophysics, the title of this exhibition evokes at the same time the infinitely small and the scale of a universe which surpasses us, but which has always fascinated artists, in particular those of the Renaissance. In this way, this exhibition functions like a multitude of doors which open upon our human condition as sensient beings that think and breath.
“I have never wanted to choose a domain, a material, or a purpose. I am more interested
in the human adventure since we left caves. My objects are inspired by our most profound qualities: our instincts, our beliefs, our perceptions, and our physiology. We are living beings who are surrounded by things. They each project us, reflect us” according to Mathieu Lehanneur. Here, beyond the visual, objects are felt to come alive. The air is made beautiful thanks to a column of air purifiers made from plants, which for this exhibition have been organised like a chain of DNA. The space’s natural climate control is provided by a mist of filtered water which is sprayed from majestuous organic structures. In the middle of the space, a large well allows for the villa Noailles’ historic pool to be discerned, offering a dive into this architecture’s past and that of its prestigious clients.
In an adjoining space, l’Atelier du Monde represents a series completed by Mathieu Lehanneur more than ten years ago that was entitled “l’Âge du Monde”, it consists of putting together pyramids of ages of all of the countries on our planet. Through this demographic data each country is embodied by an enamelled ceramic urn. Their respective silhouettes thus chart their histories and development.
In cosmology, the particle horizon defines the region of what has, or has not, already been observed in the universe. Or, that which has existed and is yet to exist... This exhibition is a voyage, a landscape, and a laboratory. “It is a brief glimpse of what we will leave in our wake” adds the designer.

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