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What's on

The Sound of an Earthquake Contained in a Room

Gil Delindro

Exhibition at the Creux de l’Enfer (Usine du May)

from 19 March to 29 May 2022

Open Wednesday to Sunday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Sound is evidence of the constant back-and-forth between the physical bodies all around us. Each frequency originates with a shock, a wave, a movement or a friction. Although we often perceive sound as an invisible and intangible entity, it is actually just the opposite: not only offering tangible proof of existence, it also reminds us of the instability of nature, where everything lives in a continuous movement made of interactions, conflicts and extensions in space. In his exhibition, Gil Delindro uses and subverts sound samples collected around the world at geological monitoring and meteorological stations to create ephemeral sculptures in movement. Testament to changing geological processes, these works create a symbiosis between invisible resonance and visible perception.

 
En marge des fabriques (Away from Factories)

Exhibition at the Creux de l’Enfer (Usine du May)

from 19 March to 25 September 2022

Open Wednesday to Sunday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Curator: Sophie Auger-Grappin

Split between two venues, the exhibition En marge des fabriques explores unusual links between industrial or handmade objects and a selection of contemporary works of art, applying an approach going beyond the focus on functional and utilitarian value usually adopted for museum collections of objects. For the most part bearing witness to the rise of the industrial age, the objects held in the museum illustrate the advent of modern processes, liberated from artisanal and local modes of production. Collections of ribbons, weapons and bicycles therefore delineate antagonistic realms and reveal the evolving identities of modern women and men. The works of art selected by Sophie Auger-Grappin, director of the Creux de l’Enfer, are set against groups of objects chosen for their specific characteristics, their functions or their symbolism. They open new avenues for interpretation, build up stories parallel to those told by the objects themselves and draw unexpected connections with other fields of practice. Just as many insightful possibilities for exploration and experimentation are thus revealed across the collections in St-Étienne and Thiers. Taking as its starting point for reflection the 2022 St-Étienne International Design Biennale under the theme “Bifurcations”, this exhibition offers a new experience of the museum based on research interests pursued by artists.

The second part of the exhibition En marge des fabriques is presented at the Musée d’Art et d’Industrie in St-Étienne from 6 April to 31 July 2022 and is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Plan your visit

Opening hours

Wednesday to Sunday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Closed on 25 December, 1 January and 1 May

Annual closure period: first two weeks of January

Admission fees

Admission to exhibitions at the Creux de l’Enfer is free of charge.

Tickets and reservations are required for certain events.

Creux de l’Enfer members enjoy free admission at all times.

 

How to get to the art centre

The Creux de l’Enfer is located at the heart of the Vallée des Usines (Factory Valley) in Thiers, the historic capital of the French cutlery industry. All exhibition spaces are accessible to wheelchair users and mobility impaired visitors.

Centre d’art contemporain Le Creux de l’Enfer

83-85 Avenue Joseph Claussat

63300 Thiers

France

View on map

By car

Take Exit 29 from the A89 motorway, then follow the D906 secondary road south to the D2089 secondary road and head east toward Thiers.

  • Ambert: 50 min.
  • Clermont-Ferrand: 40 min.
  • Lyon: 1 h 30 min.
  • St-Étienne: 1 h 20 min.
  • Vichy: 45 min.

Parking facilities are available at the site.

By train or bus (SNCF)

  • Clermont-Ferrand - Aulnat - Pont du Château - Vertaizon - Lezoux - Pont de Dore - Thiers (rail line)
  • Thiers - Chabreloche - Noirétable - Saint-Etienne (bus line)
  • Vichy - Thiers - Pont de Dore - Néronde-sur-Dore - Courpière - Giroux - Olliergues - Vertolaye - Ambert (bus line)

By regional bus

  • Line P01 : Clermont-Ferrand - Thiers - St-Rémy-sur-Durolle - Chabreloche, Thiers Mairie stop
  • Line P02 : Clermont-Ferrand - Ambert - Arlanc, Thiers Mairie stop

View bus schedules and fees

By local bus (Transports Urbains Thiernois)

  • Line 3 (Les Garniers – Cité SNCF), “Creux de l’Enfer” stop

View the local bus map

By walking from the city centre

Via the medieval streets

From Rue Terrasse or Rue Conchette, turn on Rue de la Coutellerie and continue until you reach Place Lafayette, then take Rue du 4 Septembre. At Place Saint-Jean, look for the narrow path with the flight of stairs a few metres ahead on your right, which leads to the entrance of the art centre.

Via the ancient walls

From Place Antonin Chastel, take Rue du 8 Mai 1945, then turn left on Rue Durolle and right on Rue des Murailles. At the end of this street, continue on Rue du 4 Septembre and take the narrow path with the flight of stairs a few metres ahead on your right, which leads to the entrance of the art centre.

About us

Creux de l’Enfer: an art centre and two factories

The Creux de l’Enfer is a contemporary art centre recognised as being of “national interest” by the French Ministry of Culture, located within the iconic Vallée des Usines (Factory Valley) in Thiers, historically one of the world’s leading cutlery centres. The Creux de l’Enfer assists visual artists with their research and experimentation as well as with the production and dissemination of their works. It serves as a place open to experimentation and conducive to the emergence of works, including many never seen before elsewhere, by both well-established and up-and-coming artists, focused on creating the conditions for fruitful exchanges with audiences of all backgrounds. In 2021, the Creux de l’Enfer expanded its facilities, carrying its artistic and cultural project to a neighbouring building, the Usine du May, where it brings forward new projects in close collaboration with local and regional stakeholders.

The Creux de l’Enfer factory

The art centre’s main original building is an outstanding four-storey jewel of nineteenth-century industrial architecture. It boasts large picture windows, massive hanging pulleys on the ground floor and a roof terrace. The rock’s presence is manifest on every floor. In direct opposition to the white cube gallery style, the aim of the Creux de l’Enfer contemporary art centre is to invite visual artists to develop their projects in relation to the site.

The Creux de l’Enfer factory will be closing its doors in 2022 for at least two years to undergo restoration and improvement works.

Usine du May

Just a stone’s throw from the Creux de l’Enfer is the Usine du May, which became an annex to the contemporary art centre in 2021.

Built in the 1890s by the cutlery maker Grange-Lepage, this former factory spans 1,000 sq. metres on four floors. Its window frames and its roof terrace ornamented in red brick and Volvic stone illustrate the care and attention to detail brought to bear in its architectural design. Its four floors are accessed by an elegant interior staircase at the centre of which is a freight elevator directly powered by the water wheel.

These architectural and technical choices are not typical of Thiers and are more in keeping with a contemporary Parisian style of the period. The factory’s exceptional roof terrace was the first of its kind to be installed in the valley.

Gift shop and bookstore

A new addition to the Creux de l’Enfer, the gift shop presents a selection of unique art objects and exceptional local craft items for you to discover and take home, set off to great advantage thanks to furniture and shelving designed by Christophe Dubois. Jewellery pieces, ceramics and woven items mingle with artisanal food products from the region as well as postcards and the art centre’s publications. The gift shop at the Usine du May showcases the work of local artists as well as others long associated with the Creux de l’Enfer.

Pont de l’Épée and walkways created by George Trakas

At one with the river

The walkways and the Pont de l’Épée created by George Trakas in the 1980s span the river between the two factories, the Creux de l’Enfer and the Usine du May.

As passages for exploration and contemplation at the heart of the valley, the walkways give access to places that would otherwise be difficult to reach by allowing pedestrians to amble along the river, skirting the facades of the two factories, but also pausing for a moment to sit, observe and take pictures.

The Pont de l’Épée (also called the Pont Miroir) is a curved stainless steel walkway that crosses the river and passes above the waterfall. Its reflective surface unmistakably evokes the smooth and brilliant surface of knife blades.

“I created these walkways in 1985 to put people as close as possible to the Durolle, to connect with its very soul, for a visceral experience of the river.” (George Trakas)

Restoration project

In the last 10 years, the condition of the walkways has deteriorated significantly, making them inaccessible to the public for the most part.

A project to restore this monumental work has been launched by the Fondation du Patrimoine, a French non-profit that raises funds for heritage restoration projects of this kind. The aim is to return the walkways to their original purpose as intended by the artist and to facilitate access by the public to the entire area.

In support of this restoration project, the Creux de l’Enfer is seeking philanthropic partners able to offer either financial donations or skills-based sponsorship relating to the list of works required to rehabilitate this environmental sculpture by George Trakas.