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OVER TWO UNDER ONE OVER TWO is a piece i am currently working on. It is going to be made from challah bread (traditional braided jewish bread) molded and then casted in hard expansive foam. I will cast the bread several time and put the pieces one on top of the other to create a sort of free standing tower, around human size. The foam will probably be colored and there will be a serie of towers, operating as a group. This idea came from an interest for braids and braiding techniques, as a type of craft and tradition. I was first inspired by pillowy-like braids you can find in country houses, as decoration to put on the handle of a cupboard for example. They would often come with a big bow holding the strands together at the end of the braid. As first i was trying to make long strands out of soft foam and braid them but i wasn't satisfied with the result. My researches on braiding led me to the challah bread and i decided to make one and then to make a mold out of it. I was interested in braiding for its potential as a monocomponent material that, if manipulated correctly, could generate a much bigger and solid structure. How a small part on its own could create a big whole. But following this thoughts, i found it even nicer to pretend its braided when its actually a block of foam that replicates a braid. As a sort of bluff around this activity of braiding. This way it is more of a re interpreted reference rather than a re enactement of this activity. I often like to distance myself from the references i use, to make sure they won't be taken to literaly. That's also the reason why i like the idea of the bluff, the playful lie. It can make things less serious and more accessible. This thing of towers is coming from this structural interest around the braid, but in wider sense it also comes from my wish to create sculptures that could be in between structures and figures. Their human size and their being part of a serie generate what could be read as a family, or any other kind of social group. And their structural potential could be read as metaphor for the set of rules part of the functioning of a group/family. Like a power play between the characters that would be implied through their height and size; the tiny, the stocky, the tall, the imposing....
The title of the piece is coming from a mnemotechnic mean to remember how to braid with six strands. It is also a way to pass on this traditional knowledge to the next generation in an easily understandable way. I like how abstract and song-like it sounds if you don't know where it comes from. It could also look like a riddle. It also implies a sort of repetitive activity that could relate to crafts, or a tradition or story telling that is being passed on.