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Cyril Lancelin Makes Paris Dream
The French Artist on Dreams, Architecture and Bob Ross
Feature 21 Oct 2021
Cyril Lancelin Credit: Artist

The work “Remember Your Dreams” was created to remind us of our dreams and is part of the newly launched The Art of Dreams initiative by Porsche. Did we forget to dream over the past 2 years or did we finally manage to start dreaming while things came to stand still?

Time has stood still, and many of our daily lives or our certainties have been called into question. Our priorities may have changed. Precisely, the realization of our dreams becomes essential. Whether small or large, the order of things has been changed, we must try and no longer wait to escape.

You managed to move from working as an architect into an artist career. How did you know you needed to “move on”?

Architects collaborate more and more with artists. Certain artistic movements have strongly influenced architects such as minimalism and “light and space” of course! I spent a lot of time in art exhibitions and bookstores browsing these works straddling architecture and art. When I visited an exhibition by Donald Judd, I had a first click. Mastering 3D images as part of my job, I had fun inventing art installations for myself. As a child, I built immersive cardboard installations, but with the computer tool, there were no more technical limits, only the imagination. Do these sculptures, always thought out with a concern for realism and a concern for ambiguity, exist? I like this moment where the real and the unreal merge. I shared some images on social media, and the many encouragement I received made me decide to focus on my passion for immersive art. I decided to follow my dreams, passion being the greatest energy.

You not only have a massive social media following (who wonders!) but also some impressive projects under your belt. Is your average working day more stressful than back to the days as architect?

The time scale of the project is not the same. Some buildings always take 10 years to build, for art installations it can be a year but it is often a few weeks. This allows you to focus on the essential. I like this quick action time that focuses on the idea. You have to find ways and tips to save your time. In architecture, you can get help with some famous principle such as Sullivan’s famous axiom, “form follows function,” in art, you decide for all the components. I often chat with other artists, and these exchanges help relieve stress.

The installation at Palais Galliera Credit: Porsche

Your works make art accessible as they are often installed in public. How important is the interaction of visitors with your work for you and what was the nicest experience?

Yes, the public participates in the work, because their reactions, their courses, their photos describe an artistic and emotional experience. The works are conceived as spatial and kinetic experiences, the movement of the audience is essential. Indeed, in my last installation in Melbourne, a couple got engaged inside the work. People were witnesses and were moved by this scene.

Your works have something mesmerizing. What was once an episode of watching Bob Ross painting a waterfall in the 80s, is now a walk through your mazes. Did you ever produce a purely digital piece for a digital audience?

I always start my sketches digitally. I like to immerse myself directly in the 3-dimensional drawing. I also use a virtual reality headset to fit into the sculpture and draw the mazes. The digital work becomes immersive with current technology. I am currently working on the design of a fully digital and immersive office space. The boundaries are blurred between the physical and the digital. It is a great new playground for artists, architects and designers. The new places of the future await their designers.

The installation at Palais Galliera Credit: Porsche

Last but not least: We would love to know your 5 favourite dreamy places in Paris for when we all need a little escape during art week or during a stressful project?

I love to escape in places where I can take my time. My favourites in Paris are:

the Jardin du Luxembourg, it is so great to have your chair in the park and move it to the spot you want! The Palais Royal and its garden. The district Abbesses in Montmartre, so many great terraces there. Musée Carnavalet in the Marais district with its very nice garden. The Centre Pompidou bookstore where I could stay for days.

The installation at Palais Galliera Credit: Porsche

About The Art of Dreams:
Porsche is shining a spotlight on art: the sports car manufacturer is offering artists new channels to showcase their work to a wider audience through The Art of Dreams. Designed as a series of interactive art installations in cities, The Art of Dreams features work that deals with the topic of dreams from different perspectives. The exhibition will begin with a piece by French artist Cyril Lancelin called ‘Remember your dreams’; an oversized installation that will be on display at the Palais Galliera Musée de la mode de la Ville de Paris from 15 to 24 October.

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