RESCULPTING HISTORY (2020)

In collaboration with Jonathan Riese.

 

Resculpting History is a new educational web application recontextualising the facade of the Palais de la Porte Dorée. Built for the Colonial Exhibition in 1931 in celebration of the French colonial empire, the building’s facade paints a eurocentric and romanticised picture of colonialism, attempting to create the illusion of a mutually beneficial relationship between colonizer and colonized.

Visitors to the site can now discover and learn more about the colonial history of the building and the French empire through an explorative Augmented Reality experience. Optional hints will guide you through the different areas of the facade as you have to hover over specific parts of the bas-relief to unlock articles. These will provide information about the realities of exploitation of the colonised and contrast them with the romanticised images painted by the facade in a multimedia experience. The web application is easily accessible through the QR codes found in front of the building and the Palais’ print material. As president Macron said in June 2020 ” the Republic won't take down statues". It leaves the city of Paris with the obligation to mediate the problematic history of monuments in innovative fashion; reflecting the 21st century’s values with contemporary tools.

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