For the past three years, Lou Masduraud (b. 1990) has designed installations based on public objects such as fountains, lampposts, and basement windows. By building an exhibition around these features, she seeks to set up the exhibition space as a hybrid place at the intersection of the public and private spheres, as somewhere that is both indoors and outdoors. 

Two years ago, Masduraud was invited to show her work at the Maison Populaire, an art, culture and community center opened by the Montreuil municipal council, in eastern Paris, in 1966 (shortly after the André Malraux Cultural Centers were opened). For the exhibition, she ran a ceramics workshop where local residents modeled representations of local institutions: the school, town hall, court, library, music academy, hospital, and police station. Around these models, she installed a series of Plans d’évasion (Escape Plans): diorama-style illusions inspired by basement windows. 

Prior to this, Masduraud designed an anthropomorphic sculpture connecting the public spaces and back-office areas at the Villa Vassilief in Paris. She also carried out research into Rome’s Mussolini-era street fountains during her residency at the Instituto Svizzero. Her research culminated in a map of the city’s fountain system, coupled with a latex plug—an adult toy—intended to block the orifices of these monuments built in the city’s fascist period. More recently, she produced a series of rococo-style mouth-like fountains encrusted with rhinestone and zircon (Muzeum Susch, 2023). 

In its evocation of both buildings and sculptures, and their exploration of the interplay between function and decoration, Masduraud’s art forms a continuum between the social and private spheres. She is interested in spaces that defy convention—spaces where the normal rules do not apply, or where these rules are pushed to the extreme. In this sense, her practice bears many similarities with the “heterotopias” described by Michel Foucault in his analysis of systems of surveillance and control.

The Manor Cultural Prize is awarded every two years in twelve Swiss cities. For the Prix 2023, the jury was made up of Lionel Bovier (Director, MAMCO), Paul Bernard (Curator, MAMCO), Julien Fronsacq (Chief Curator, MAMCO), two representatives of the Manor Group, Chantal Prod'hom (Director of MUDAC, Lausanne) and Pierre-André Maus (Director of Maus Frères SA), as well as three external experts: Mai-Thu Perret (artist), Gina Proenza (artist and co-director of Forde Genève) and Mohamed Almusibli (artist and co-director of Cherish Genève)

  • Exhibition curated by Julien Fronsacq
  • Lou Masduraud is the winner of the 2023 Manor Cultural Prize for the Canton of Geneva
FONDATION MAMCOÉtat de GenèveVille de GenèveJTIFondation LeenaardsFondation genevoise de bienfaisance Valeria Rossi di Montelera