Inaugural workshop, HEAD – Genève
20.09.2021 - 24.09.2021, Geneva
After sunset, before sunrise takes Geneva as a case study, and explores its transformation at the very ephemeral moment of sunset: how do changes in the intangible elements of the city (lighting, sound, people and their activities) influence the tangible elements (buildings, streets and other physical artefacts of the city) and our perception of them? The observation, identification, archiving and staging of the different components of the place, its human and non-human interactions, its history, its temporality, and its material qualities address the night as a space-time of new opportunities.
Site 1: Bois de la Bâtie - Zoo
The city of Geneva has set up several lighting devices to protect and harm as little as possible the flora and fauna of the Bois de la Batie once night falls. However, the noise pollution produced by the park's different human activities is very present and tends to invade the very nature the city is trying to preserve at night. Through a sequence of sound devices, the students allowed visitors of the installation to experience the noise pollution inherent to the park in relation to the zoo's sounds.
Site 2: Plainpalais - Skatepark
At nightfall, the skatepark starts to empty itself. It is then possible to wander through its shapes and contours. These can be exploited in unconventional and surprising ways. Curves, counter-curves, ramps, platforms and other skate installations can accommodate our bodies in multiple positions, whether comfortable or not. The students started out by elaborating a catalog of photos and illustrations of unusual postures. During the last night of the workshop, the week’s experiments took on the form of a performance. As opposed to the movements of skaters, the students adopted static and unconventional postures showcasing multiple possibilities of occupying the skatepark.
Site 3: Vieille Ville - Passages
At night, the dimly lit Old Town fills itself with sounds, voices and footsteps echoing between the historical walls. This project aims to highlight an intrinsic aspect of the Old Town of Geneva: its passages, interior courtyards and narrow alleys which are more often than not inaccessible. To highlight these historical spaces, the students created a projection screen within one of the Old Town's passages. The projection featured a series of videos highlighting the sensory experience of the narrow alleys at sunset.
Site 4: Lavandières - Promenade
Designed in the 1990s, the Promenade des Lavandières was developed to improve the quality of public spaces and create a new relationship to the surrounding water by offering a continuous path alongside the Rhône. The Promenade's name honors the women who, until the 20th century, did the city's laundry on wash-houseboats. The installation aimed to establish a connection between the passersby and the history of the promenade. By projecting old photographs alongside current ones with the exact same perspective, the visitors are made aware of the Lavandières' past.
Site 5: Gare Routière - Arrêt
Geneva's bus station is a non-place at the heart of the city. It is a space dictated by the bus schedule. One comes here to wait for their bus for short periods of time but no other activity is ever monitored. The only building located at the center of the bus station is constantly closed. The students took this observation as a starting point for their performance. By using film, lighting projections and sound as their mediums, they reactivated the bus station's building for one night, questioning the purpose of this abandoned building at the heart of Geneva.
Site 6: Quai Wilson - Complexe Sportif
The Quai Wilson's sports complex radically changes when the sun comes down. While it is an extremely animated place during the day, at night very few people continue to use the different sports facilities. Taking this observation as a starting point, the students decided to document this evident contrast. By using the existing lighting of the site, the students exhibited large photographs alongside one another showcasing the contrasting daytime and nighttime activities of the sports complex.
Site 7: Bains des Pâquis - Plage
The Bains des Pâquis is an oasis in the middle of the city of Geneva. It is one of the most famous spots in the city thanks to the multiple activities the architecture fosters as well as its close connection to the water. On this final site, the students hosted a film screening. The film emphasized specific architectural elements in relationship with the water and the ways in which these elements reacted to the changing light at dusk.
Assistants: Phi Nguyen, Paule Perron, Manon Portera, Cécile-Diama Samb, Bertrand Van Dorp
Head of the Department : Dr. Javier F. Contreras
Scientific Deputy: Valentina de Luigi
Students: Affolter Mélanie, Bitto Melissa, Braun Dylan, Clertan Luna, Allier Elena, Batista De Freitas Cédric, Bonjour Cécile, Vandenabeele Axel, Bonnet Maïlys, Bricheux Capucine, Camillo Virginie (site 1), Compoint Minna, Dupraz Ian, Duri Esteban, Bunyen Macharat, Cornaz Juliette, De Almeida Borralho Débora, De Limoges Thaïs, Buffat Romane, Felix Tina, Hong Jinuk, Hwang Gyeonghwan, Kocis Chiara (site 2), Faure Clara, Fookes Tania, Gargano Tiziano, Gruaz Lea, Derriey Pauline, Dondey Amarine, Escher Ilena, Laville Mélina, Levak Tomislav, Mackenzie Abigaël, Maingret Camille (site 3), Gupta Rajen, Hericher Jeanne, Humair Toyine, Joost Maxime, Frey Tibo, Glassey Margaux, Golaz Stéphanie, Grobet Célie, Meyer Melina, Pomorski Maud, Porter Olivia, Puthod Elioth (site 4), Joyau Axelle, Kim Chaewon, Lavorel Léa, Llosas Elena, Lajci Aurora, Neuenschwander Vera, Miskufova Alexandra, Rodriguez Coronado Francisco, Rouhling Chloé, Schnider Jody, Schupp Inès (site 5), Nagarajan Meghna Thanushree, Narducci Mathias, Rigal Paul, Rochat Elodie, Pannatier Ludivine, Pereira Sacramento Stéphanie, Py Emma, Racine Valentin, Streit Oxana, Teixeira Leana, Van Garderen Alain (site 6), Tauxe Fanny, Tissot-Daguette Lou Vanille, Torres Ferreira Elisa, Valazza Elena, Schuler Amanda, Troilo Jérémy, Venetz Saëlle, Vinokurov Kirill, Weibel Thérèse, Weiss Aline (site 7).
Vidéo: © HEAD–Genève, Jimmy Roura