"AIR-AIR" uses records built up by a specialist organization Le 27ème Stratagème & Inflate-unit-research", to look back over the ways in which inflatable structures are used by a host of creative disciplines: architecture, plastic arts, fashion, science, industry, aeronautics, etc.
The exhibition considers inflatables as a technical innovation that continues to transform society, but also opens our eyes to the dream-like and sometimes utopian artistic experiences it has inspired.
Inflatable objects can be traced back to ancient times, with ship's sails, skins swollen with air for carrying water, and other everyday inflatable objects from containers to playthings. Air and inflatables were also a subject of study for Middle Ages alchemists. Moving on to the 17th century, the first successful flight was made in an inflatable structure.
"AIR-AIR" is an inter-disciplinary exhibition that promotes exchanges between artists from a variety of fields. It builds valuable bridges between plastic arts, architecture, design, industry, the cinema, etc. It also provides an opportunity to present these disciplines in a single space, at the same time developing specific display concepts for each one (exhibition, Web site, audiovisual).
Research and technological progress continue to push back the limits of inflatable structures and their applications, at the same time preserving their original characteristics: portable, adaptable, fun, unconventional, compact and quick to install.
The variety of environments in which inflatables can be used - water, land, air, space - and the fact that certain works can be lit from the inside allow for spectacular scenic design. The different display concepts give rise to unexpected contrasts, original exhibition circuits, and installations and presentations in which spectators becomes players, taking on an active role in the scenario offered to them.
"AIR-AIR" is also a source of new creations. A "call for projects" was enthusiastically welcomed, and the many positive responses from plastic artists, designers, architects…etc. confirmed the continued attraction of the inflatable. Some twenty artworks, specially designed and created for the Grimaldi Forum and with the building's specific architecture in mind were produced for the exhibition.
Beyond the undeniable artistic value of the exhibition, "AIR-AIR" is also a light-hearted celebration that is open to all, surely the most appropriate way to mark the inauguration of the new Grimaldi Forum.