After a MSc in Physics, Thierry Payet takes interest in the areas of conflicts. He graduates in Geography of
South East Asia in London (SOAS) with the intuition « to go and meet ordinary people in extraordinary situations ».
Which he does for many years in Cambodia, Zaire, Rwanda, Guatemala. Then, he notices that in peacetime
a significant amount of people « have extraordinary stories and connections with the surrounding territory ».
From his experiences he built-up an artistic approach of situations based on individual meetings : the narrative
cartography. He first implements it as a curator of a large urban planning exhibition on Paris Metropolis in
the Pavillon de l’Arsenal (2010), and then in various urban projects addressing critical urban issues : urban areas
in a residency in Burgundy with the Centre d’Art de l’Yonne (2013-2014) ansd in Poitou-Charente with Rur’art
Center (2012-2013), the transformation of housing estates int the Franc-Moisin with Synesthesie Art
Center (2011-2013), the extension of the turkish metropolis with the Reseau Tram and the m1886 gallery of
Ankara (2012-2013). This methodology also result in apparatuses that reactivate the potential of under-used
places : he builds an empty structure, ready for use, in the architectural rehabilitation of the Arts & Métiers
engineering school in Paris, or an installation that successfully challenges the ban of street vendors in th public
space in the Biennale of La Défence business district. Built using the maintenance systems and the local resources,
these artistic apparatus exist at the scale of large territories: « they are not frozen objects as they interact with
various local stories and uses ». This year, back from the Mardin Biennale in the turkish Kurdistan, the artist
engages in a research on the territory of his studio. Being somewhere starts through cartography studies
based on proximity and neighborhood. The studio is the place for individual meetings, a kitchen is installed.
The studio is the place of restitutions through open-day sessions.
The team is customized according to the project's scale and level of complexity :
> It can be reduced to its minimum : the artist on the territory.
> It grows and includes various engineering skills : roads and networks, structure,
cultural et urban producers, environmental engineering (urban ambiences and metabolism).
© Thierry Payet