KETELEER GALLERY is very pleased to present Red and Blue Barricade, an installation by Luc Deleu & T.O.P. office.
In 1970 Luc Deleu and his wife Laurette Gillemot founded T.O.P. office, an independent studio for urbanism and architecture. The conceptually minded T.O.P. office introduced their architectural projects to the art circuit, a world which was significantly more receptive to the office’s ethos of freedom and experimentation than the world of architecture. Their main goal was and still is, to intellectually expand the ways of approaching architecture and urban design by considering new ways of joining architecture, human life and the planet in order to improve the balance between them.
Red and Blue Barricade was inspired by the painting Liberty Leading the People (1830) by Eugène Delacroix, an iconic painting which motivated Deleu to examine the representation of barricades in art. He found that even though conceiving and raising a barricade is a fast and straightforward process, it’s a whole different thing to turn a barricade into a piece of art. The intention alone immediately prompts a whole bunch of ontological and formalist questions. What differentiates a barricade from a heap? Should it actually barricade something? What can it be made of? What connotations does it provoke? …
Deleu started experimenting with simple barricades: piles of rubble, stacked books and furniture, and finally got inspired to use design furniture and more specifically Rietveld’s Red and Blue armchair. This iconic piece of furniture became famous due to it being both extremely innovative in design and practical to produce and distribute. ‘Design for the people’ was what the designer originally envisioned – though it quickly turned into an expensive collector’s item - but for Deleu it also became a shape which could both express order and chaos when piled on top of each other and in doing so he extended the chair’s versatility and revived its initial democratic potential.
Artists: Luc Deleu & T.O.P. Office