"The melancholic calm of the place has just been substituted by a storm, a storm of questions but above all of doubts...Plato warned us against this. I saw this place without being aware of it, without realising my place without questioning the memory that inhabits it**".
'Leftover from the void' (Les Résidus du vide) concerns a large scale art installation commission which took place inside an abandoned synagogue in the small town of Reichshoffen in French Alsace. The building is one of many European synagogues consigned to the history books. As with the fate of the community it served and with the rise of nativist politics and antisemitism in the region, it is only a matter of time before it disappears completely both physically and from collective memory.
This space and time specific work signals the artist’s first large scale architectural intervention which responds to a local need and which chimes with the building’s history, fate and energy. Through sculpture and choreography the artwork controls and transforms the entire space to recreate a place of reflection but also of timelessness and wonderment.
The installation reconstructs the reflections of sunlight that enter through the remarkable Islamic inspired stained glass windows. The sunlight appears to be naturally cast over the floor but without the use of projectors. The light fades and grows as with the passing of a fleeting cloud. At a given moment mediators place shutters over the windows but rather than removing the sunlight, it remains in place. The installation also interacts with the building’s found objects and relics. One by one they are removed from their plinths whilst their assumed shadows remain unaffected.
The artwork contains more than 25 elements made across France, the UK and India over a period of eighteen months. It followed a period of research involving discussions and exchanges with the local population, heritage experts, historians and custodians. The exhibition was accompanied by a program of talks, workshops and school visits. It was constructed with the assistance of artists Héloïse Maillet and Floriane Foy. The exhibition took place from June - September 2018.