Mise-en-abyme by Laetitia de Allegri and Matteo Fogale
19 — 27 Sept 2015
Victoria & Albert Museum
Designers Laetitia de Allegri and Matteo Fogale collaborated with Johnson Tiles to create Mise-en-abyme, a colourful and immersive installation for the bridge over the Medieval and Renaissance galleries in the V&A.
Fascinated by the discovery of one-point perspective during the Renaissance period, the duo created a landscape of overlapping semi-transparent shapes that played with the viewer's sense of perspective. The title of the work is a French term that literally translates as “placed into the abyss”, and refers to the experience of walking through the installation. The grout lines of the tiles lining the bridge represented the perspective grid lines found in Renaissance drawings, creating an illusion of exaggerated depth that drew the viewer into the work. Each tile featured a custom pattern of gradating colour that made the landscape across the bridge appear to open outward or to close inward, depending on the visitor’s point of view. Contrasting with the pale interiors of the surrounding galleries and the creamy marble sculptures within them, the designers created an explosion of coloured acrylic panels layered across the length of the bridge. These bright semi-transparent panels also referenced the V&A’s colourful glass and stained glass collections displayed in nearby galleries. As visitors moved across the bridge, they passed through increasingly small openings in these panels, a literal interpretation of perspective translated to three-dimensional space that offered an immersive experience. Supported by Johnson Tiles with acrylic supplied by Altuglas.