Thomas Raynaud

(France, 1976)

After studying in Paris and Hong Kong, Thomas Raynaud began addressing the question of rehabilitation and landscapes at his agency BuildingBuilding, founded in Paris in 2007. For the Biennale he has focused on Pirou-Plage, a small seaside resort town on the west coast of Cotentin. The seawater pool located in Pirou- Plage, counts amongst these constructions that attract the interest of those that would still seek a more fundamental definition, a more anonymous one too. Standing about a hundred meters from the coast, it is made up of two pools filling up and disappearing with the tides; two rectangles of concrete accessible through steps and ladders and surrounded by two pennants signalling their presence at high tide. We thought we would talk about a swimming pool, but we end up with even less: water impoundment. Neither really a pool nor really nothing… A concrete wall anchored in the sand, anchored in the tides, installed in the sea; at once off and on the shore. A simple partition: inside, a changing condition, at once sign and monument, both a puddle and a pool; outside, the world, the sea, tides, usages, flags, chaos and the possibility of drowning, in a word what we continue to call the outside, the exterior.

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