(excerpt, by Dominique Bozo and Paul-Louis Rinuy)
The images of culture
As in the 16th or 17th century, the creation of imaginary places (the Bomarzo garden in Etruria, the desert of Retz in the Yvelines), a kind of "feeling of ruins", the fascination of the previous civilizations hold a considerable place for certain artists who undertook to make live again the past through their memory and their subjectivity.
In addition to the references to the great archaeological sites (Stonehenge), to the ethnography of the primitive people, some use the written witnesses of the history to relive this one, to set up images, phantasms. The Domus Aurea (1978) of Anne and Patrick Poirier (1942) reconstitutes on a small scale an archaeological place subjected to the hazards of a necessarily approximate "memory". In spite of the scale, which allows to apprehend the place in totality, these images remain the evocation of an elusive past.
In Jean Amado's (1922-1995) work, cities, architectures or natural places, "sunken ships", antediluvian animals, resurface in the colored and baked concrete as fossilized images of our attempts to interpret or restore certain traces of the past: interpretation of mental images based on historical culture, nostalgic attempts to go back to the most remote times of history.
Close to this approach are also the fragmented, labyrinthine, imaginary architectures of the American Alicia Aycock (1946)....