Crystalline Thresholds | Les Portes de Givre, 2022-2023
Located at the top of the Puy de Dôme volcano in France, this winter project inaugurated on the 3rd of December 2022 takes the form of an installation of monumental ephemeral sculptures in the form of passageways positioned for the Pleiades constellation. Each piece is sculpted by the Atlantic winds and atmospheric conditions that give way to specific frost phenomena, eventually disappearing with the arrival of spring. The work is made in collaboration with the meteorological station and oldest observatory in France found at the top of this exceptional Unesco world heritage location chosen for its unique and pure atmosphere, its recurring frost and ice storms, and on the basis of Mirlesse’s grandfather’s research in the 1930s for the Ministry of Air. The site of a unique microclimate in Europe, the summit was long a Gallo-roman destination for pilgrimage and home to the Temple of Mercury, of which a doorway still stands among the ruins. The idea of thresholds, atmospheric, mythological, architectural and geological are at the core of the proposal.