What if a site with the exact geographical features of Paris had existed at another spot on the globe?
I create maps that explore the ongoing tension between nature and man, the creative and the destructive. After years of creating maps, each one fictitious from beginning to end, the urge came for me to work within the constraints of physical geography that actually exists. This suited me well, since I like to create works sparked by the maps of places where I exhibit, as long as they are sparsely populated locales with room to build out. What about a real place where the land has already been swallowed up and there is little room to spread or develop, like Paris, where I had an exhibit in 1997?
The choices were limited: a) demolish Paris so I could rebuild it on my own terms, or b) go back in time before there was a Paris and start from scratch. I chose c): all of the above.
What if a site with the exact geographical features of Paris had existed at another spot on the globe? Different climate, different culture, different history—different city.
Florent Morellet was born in France and began to draw maps in grade school in his hometown of Cholet, outside of Nantes. He studied urban planning at Central London Polytechnic, and has lived in San Francisco, Paris, São Paulo, and New York. His work has been exhibited in solo and group shows in the United States and Europe. The former owner of the restaurant Florent in New York’s meatpacking district, he currently sits on Manhattan’s Community Board 2. His website is florentmorellet.com.