CHAPTER 5: HIGH POINTS, LOW POINTS

Gigantism is but a question of perspective.

Industrial and port gigantism are essential elements of Dunkirk’s history and landscape. France’s third largest port after those of Marseille and Le Havre, Dunkirk’s port covers over 17 km2 or 7,000 hectares and boasts nearly 50.4 million tons of merchandise transported yearly. The port is home to diverse industries, notably processing and energy production. Unsurprisingly, the territory has been greatly influenced by this gigantic development site.

Discovering and appreciating this territorial gigantism is surely essential to grasping the exhibition’s other chapters. To this end, itineraries touching upon three symbolic aspects of the Dunkirk area (namely, its land, sea and sky) have been created, to allow visitors to connect spaces, observe ensembles, discover scales, roam the various zones…

The contributions and perspectives of artists, historians and experts offer a diversity of viewpoints nourishing a sensitive and sensorial mingling and contrasting of real and improbable stories and histories.

“From one belvedere to the next” evokes our relationship with the sky, while lending the necessary distance and altitude for contemplating gigantism from on high. From the roof of the Halle aux Sucres to the FRAC belvedere, this itinerary approaches industry from afar, producing the image of a fascinating, monstrous power that is yet mastered by perspective.

 “The floating workshop” evokes our relationship with water, inviting us seaside to grasp the immediate immensity of the port: its soaring factories, heavy machinery, bulky boats and vast vats. Like a laboratory placing us in a position of extreme fragility and evolving through the meeting and mingling of land and sea…

Finally, the Contemporary Art Hub (our relationship with land) will be affirmed by this physical union of the LAAC, the FRAC, the Halle AP2 and public space, set within the industrial wasteland of Dunkirk’s old shipyards. A sort of intimate, tender map for founding a relationship straddling reality and the imaginary, materiality and poetry…

Artists:

Céline Ahond, Dector & Dupuy, Mark Geffriaud, Dominique Gilliot, Ludovic Linard, Flora Moscovici

Participants :

The Dunkirk Archives – Municipal Centre of Urban Memory, the Château Coquelle cultural centre, the Dunkirk Conservatoire of Music and Drama, the Municipal Fine Arts School of Dunkirk, the Halle aux Sucres Learning Centre

Richard Schotte and Valérie Swain