Échelle 1:1 (Maps to Scale)
“The only true, unique journey is to change perspective” – Marcel Proust. Maps to Scale is a map soap opera in seven episodes. Each episode has three different components on the same theme: a story with maps, a work presented by an artist and a collective mapping exercise where spectator-mapmakers produce a full-scale map. Playing with scales reveals “hereness” in such a way as to remind participants of the hard fact that we all live our lives in full-scale. The episodes move freely around the GR®2013 – close by and never too far away. As an artistic map project, Maps to Scale, like the GR®2013, aims to create a collective emotional response by offering a changed perspective, as much as changes to the area. To develop Maps to Scale, a map-making group called Oucarpo was created on the Oulipo model. This informal group intends to explore the tension between constraints and play, between words, signs and images. Maps to Scale is a practical map-making workshop that is intentional, learned and naïve and whose aim is not to produce a big map that will actually cover the Marseille-Provence 2013 area (Umberto Eco has nicely pointed out the absurdity of this). Instead, each episode is a proposal to lay another layer on the “territory of the empire” of what Borges called “spoiled ruins from a full-scale map”.
Thierry Kressmann and Guillaume Monsaingeon share a love for mapmaking, although they come from very different backgrounds. Thierry Kressmann trained as a town planner and managed a business. His career has been in GIS (Geographic Information Systems), which he helped to invent. His work and research have given the GIS data model powerful integrated mapmaking features. He has always fought for institutions, engineers and backers to preserve an expressive and artistic element to mapmaking. Guillaume Monsaingeon is a philosopher by training who worked in museums in France and Italy before turning to teaching. His works on Vauban and classical spaces led him to mapmaking, its history and an encounter with contemporary art. He is the curator of the Mappamundi art and map exhibition, taking place in Toulon from 15 March to 12 May 2013 as part of the Ulysses project. As creators and curators of Maps to Scale, Kressmann and Monsaingeon combine their complementary skills to transform our perspective of the region through maps.
1 April – L’impossible carte de la mer (The impossible map of the sea) with visual artist Nicolas Desplats. Marseille, Château d’If.
On the rocks of this “vessel” connected to all the islands of the world, pick up maps one by one to discover the depths of the ocean that are impossible to map. Track down the pots containing the deep ocean blues of cerulean, dark Prussian blue, ultramarine and more. Touch the fathomable and unfathomable depths with your finger. Put back a tower of the “Château d’If” and find the white words written in the foam of the pilot boats.
Boat leaves the Vieux Port at 2pm and returns around 6pm.
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28 April – La carte qui coule (Fluid maps) with visual artist Jean-Luc Brisson. Salon-de-Provence.
Come help us unravel this endless, tangled knot of cars, planes and canal waters from the Durance river, managed by the water bailiff. A huge table covered with a cloth spread with map stories will help you understand how the heart of the Durance ploughs its way through the land before capitulating to the Rhone and lapping gently at the edges of this plain, where it supplies fruit and vegetable farms every day.
25 May – Constellations célestes, mythologie et lieux terrestres (Heavenly constellations, mythology and Earthly locations) with visual artist Karl Van Welden. Vitrolles.
29 June – Le Pli de la carte (Map folds) with Jeremy Wood, a walking artist who draws with his GPS. Istres.
12 July – Du grand au petit, le zoom (Zooming in) with video producer Francisco Ruiz de Infante. Marseille, Campagne Pastré.
15 September – Lettres et mots (Letters and words) with the Gusto collective, graphic artists and typographers. Marseille, La Plaine.
13 October – Risques, dangers et peurs (Risks, dangers and fears) with the GR®2013 walking artists. Belcodène (Aubagne).