Armelle Caron’s Reorganized Maps

"Montpellier" by Armelle Caron

Armelle Caron takes maps apart and puts them back together again–in a different order. Caron’s diptychs read like the “before” and “after” of a messy desk, at first navigable only by the familiar owner, and then, once organized, understood easily by all. She plays with comprehension and incomprehension, order and disorder, for just as she robs city blocks of their initial meaning, she gifts each shape with new meaning, with a place among the ranks, ordered by size, stacked in style.

Frank Jacobs thoughtfully addresses Caron’s work in his Big Think blog, Strange Maps:

“The city is hung out to dry by its smallest constituent parts. The cartographic compact – maps, however imperfect and partial on paper, are reliable real-world guides – is nullified. The city is un-mapped. Is it therefore also de-coded? The former term implies a loss of information: the city is disassembled, put in storage. The latter suggests a revelation of hidden knowledge: the fragments are pieces of an urban puzzle.”

Interested in more of Caron’s work? Check out her website. Interested in more on maps and meaning? Check out our latest issue, Cartography.

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