Le baron chéper
Le baron chéper (pun on the French title of Italo Calvino's novel, Le baron perché/The Baron in the Trees) documents the periphery of Grenoble, in particular the district of La Villeneuve. Built between the seventies and eighties on the outskirts of the city, the district was designed as place where social experiments of ethnic diversity could be carried out and a sense of community could be created through the active role of citizenship. Today these contexts of urban segregation show a wider problem of integration, which is shockingly topical in Europe.
Faced with this situation, I chose to create a project freely inspired by Italo Calvino's book The Baron in the Trees, which tells the story of a teenager who decides to live on top of trees for his entire life after a dispute with his parents.
The result is a set-up and a book composed of a series of photographs taken in the evening depicting trees in the foreground and architectural spaces in the background, the perspective from which the Baron would have looked at the surrounding buildings and their sleeping inhabitants. I decided to capture the intensive architecture of the suburbs and the nature that surrounds them in the evening light, when the inhabitants of the neighbourhoods abandon public spaces and live in domestic, private space.
The project Le baron chéper was made during a research and production residency curated by Simone Frangi and Katia Schneller, and carried out between October 2017 and March 2018 at the ÉSAD - Grenoble - Valence at the invitation of the research platform Pratiques d’hospitalité, with the support of the Italian Council, Direzione Generale Arte e Architettura Contemporanee e Periferie Urbane du MiBACT.