The Great Observation Box
Jean-Christophe Arcos, Philippe Prost
19 x 26 cm
ISBN : 978-2-490140-15-2
Gilles Pourtier took part in a one-year artist’s residency at 3 bis f, a contemporary art centre located in the Montperrin psychiatric hospital in Aix-en-Provence. La grande surface de réparation (The Great Observation Box) focuses on this mental health institute and its serial architecture, examining the typological variations of the pavilions where the patients are admitted.
The photographs underline the repetitive nature and the mass production of these buildings, establishing a parallel between this industrial aesthetic and the issues of minimal art. Gilles Pourtier also developed a series of drawings entitled Wunderblocks that questions the relation between built environments and individuals. The multidisciplinary approach in this publication mixes drawings, photographs and architecture. It brings a new perspective on the subject of psychiatry by observing the close relationship between pathologies and environments. Throughout the book, the texts by Jean-Christophe Arcos (exhibition curator) and Philippe Prost (architect) complement and shed light on this process.