Pauline Lecerf

Lampadaire Magazine

13 December 2021 - 22 January 2022

It seems that too much light could, at times, be a nuisance. Only, if the need for obscurity arises, is turning off a city as easy as that?

Pauline Lecerf was born in 1993, in Paris.

Trained at the Haute École des Arts du Rhin (HEAR) in illustration and in the art group "Hors Format", then at the Offshore school of Shanghaï, Pauline Lecerf has a multidisciplinary artistic practice (radio shows, performances, illustration, graphic design). She is particularly interested in creating collective gatherings and constructing forms and situations that "explore relationships marked by tension". She invites the public to take part in actions – with historical, philosophical or cultural references scattered here and there – which take the form of narrated stories and physical and sensory experiences.

Lampadaire Magazine was born out of the artist’s thoughts and analysis. In philosophy, science, ecology or urbanism, light is an object of study. Especially public lighting, which has been the subject of interrogations and debates during lockdown in France. This project on public lighting is inspired by the artist’s research and conversations with astronomers, urban planners, insomniacs, and activists of the night.

Lampadaire Magazine is both the name of an exhibition and a magazine. This proposition, tinged with humour, directly falls within Paulince Lecerf’s practice.

During the first lockdown (between March and May 2020), Pauline Lecerf asked herself why we let the streetlights on when nobody was allowed out. In several towns, some inhabitants, worried about the ecological impact and light pollution, had the same thought process and urged their local elective representatives to take a stance on this issue. Although the object of debates and controversies, nightly public lighting turns out to be necessary for safety and surveillance reasons, but also anxiety-related reasons. Indeed, light in the city is reassuring, it gives an impression a safety: it has a placebo effect.

For Lampadaire Magazine, Pauline Lecerf carried on with her research on light in the city during a residency supported by artconnexion in April 2021. This residency was an opportunity for the artist to conduct an investigation by collecting press articles and information on the topics of lighting and urbanism. Through a field study, she was able to examine the shapes and aesthetics of streetlights. Lastly, following sociological investigation protocols, she questioned different individuals on their relationship with the street, light, and public lighting.

From December 14th to December 17th, Pauline Lecerf offers guided tours of the city of Lille’s streetlights. To an introduction to recognizing the shapes of streetlights, she adds historical elements, from the origins of light in public spaces, to France’s main electricity supplier’s motto. Symbol of power, surveillance tool, synonym for intelligence and knowledge, light is everywhere, all the while being impalpable.