DS Automobiles gave carte blanche to Mathias Kiss to express – outside of normal conventions – his luxurious art using his savoir-faire and avant-garde creativity. He reinterprets the spirit of New DS 3 E-TENSE, a 100% electric model, through the exhibition of a series of works titled “MASTERPIECES”.
For this iconic artist from the contemporary Parisian scene – who deconstructs classical heritage codes while demonstrating his expertise of historical savoir-faire (using manual techniques such as gold leaf and faux marble) – New DS 3 E-TENSE is transformed into “material to create”; the key components of its identity skilfully hijacked to become monumental sculptures or immersive installations.
A total art of living experience
To faithfully transcribe New DS 3 E-TENSE’s vision of making travel a true “French way of life”, Mathias Kiss conceives a dialogue between the world of the car and his own culture with regard to interiors. Based on a process of deconstructing classical living and decor codes, he translates the car components into contemporary works in situ. This explains his decision to realise this exhibition at a heritage site of pure French style, the Hôtel de Coulanges, today occupied by the avant-garde cultural scene of 3537.
Through the eyes of the artist, New DS 3 E-TENSE goes beyond the status of automotive object to take on the more allegorical status of a living space in its own right. Drawing inspiration from the elegance of the new model’s tones and shades, the finesse of its design, the sculptural nature of its shape and even its advanced technology (from its premium audio system to the directional lighting), Mathias Kiss creates a journey, both interior and exterior, composed of sculptures and living room arrangements for a new genre, the immersive experience of which, both visual and sound, transforms our general conception of the art of living.
The Electric Engine Sculpture
By exhibiting, in a “bare” version, the engine of New DS 3 E-TENSE in the middle of the courtyard of the Hôtel de Coulanges, Mathias Kiss brings to the forefront a component of the car generally excluded from our field of vision, by embodying it as the “heart”. Through his staging, the artist offers us an even more venerable interpretation of this masterpiece. Aside from echoing its 100% electric energy, this reflective gold leaf ornament gives it the look of an antique sculpture. This reference to the notion of classical heritage is amplified by the monumental effect of raising the work on a pedestal covered with silver leaf. The refined and deconstructed architectural forms, faithful to the artist’s lexicon, nevertheless express an ultra-contemporary vision of New DS 3 when applied to this medium.
The Luminaire Sculpture
In the main staircase of the Hôtel de Coulanges, Mathias Kiss takes inspiration from the electric power of the engine all the while echoing the signature lighting of New DS 3 E-TENSE. The artist notably uses the principle of filaments positioned under the front headlights of the car, made up of hundreds of LEDs. These are symbolically translated into an ultra-minimalist LED lighting sculpture, whose graphic and angular shape mimics the directional lighting technology of New DS 3.
The Immersive Listening Room and its Seat Sculptures
Mathias Kiss makes us live the “cocoon” atmosphere of New DS 3, by comparing its interior to an “indoor living room” with an elusive style between classical heritage and vision of the future. The front seats of New DS 3 keep their seating function but their sculptural form and their high-quality artisanship (watch-strap design, pearl stitch) spark the imagination. Moulded out of plaster, entirely covered with a marbled design sketched by the artist himself, these pieces symbolically transform into marble sculptures. This installation also aims to immerse us in the enveloping acoustic atmosphere of New DS 3. The 12 speakers of the car’s hi-fi system are therefore scattered on both sides of the space, embedded in decorative boxes that adorn the walls like paintings. To insulate our experience even further from any external noise pollution, the walls are covered with soundproof foam, whose casing of 3D polygons subtly pays homage to the “Clous de Paris” guillochage pattern, revisited in a contemporary way by New DS 3 in its cockpit. These bas-relief frescoes from a new genre are complemented, at basement and floor level, by a plush carpet that echoes the Diva Red tones of New DS 3. This state-of-the-art “Listening Room” configuration could not have been achieved without the intervention of a reference from the experimental music scene. The composer Jonathan Fitoussi was therefore invited to produce a tailor-made sound creation inspired by this automotive cocoon. The “emotional symphony” that this visual and audio maelstrom offers us is amplified by the effect of doubling the space with a mirrored ceiling.