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March 9, 2011

"One Thousand Doors, No Exit" is currently on view until April 2nd at the Graham Foundation in Chicago. The exhibition features two photographic series by Swiss-born artist Nicolas Grospierre. Grospierre—who is currently based in Poland and studied sociology at the London School of Economics and political science at the Institut d'Etudes Politique de Paris—explores the tension between perception and truth in architecture as well as architecture's capacity to stand as an artifact of ideology. TATTARRATTAT (2010) snakes through the interior of a 14th century palazzo, capturing images via reflections in convex mirrors, and Hydroklinika (2004) shows a Soviet-era spa in Lithuania just before it was partially demolished and converted into a water park. "The frozen state of the architecture from this perspective is very telling about the Marxist project," says Grospierre of Hydroklinika. Reflecting his educational background, Grospierre's documentation of the communist relic takes a sociologic lens to architecture. "Incredible, Utopian, buoyant, but not practical, and not economically viable." Click through the slideshow for a look at "One Thousand Doors, No Exit."

Tracing a path of reflections through a series of convex mirrors, the two-channel projection <i>TATTARRATTAT</i> guides viewers on two simultaneous tours of a 14th century Venetian palazzo.<br /><br />Nicolas Grospierre, <i>TATTARRATTAT</i>, 2010, 43 ¼” x
Tracing a path of reflections through a series of convex mirrors, the two-channel projection TATTARRATTAT guides viewers on two simultaneous tours of a 14th century Venetian palazzo.Nicolas Grospierre, TATTARRATTAT, 2010, 43 ¼” x 51 ½”.
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Though the projection appears to be a film, it is actually a series of over 500 photographs.<br /><br />Nicolas Grospierre, <i>TATTARRATTAT</i>, 2010.
Though the projection appears to be a film, it is actually a series of over 500 photographs.Nicolas Grospierre, TATTARRATTAT, 2010.
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The project's title comes from the longest palindrome in the dictionary, a term for a knock on a door coined by James Joyce in his 1922 tome <i>Ulysses</i>.<br /><br />Nicolas Grospierre, <i>TATTARRATTAT</i>, 2010.
The project's title comes from the longest palindrome in the dictionary, a term for a knock on a door coined by James Joyce in his 1922 tome Ulysses.Nicolas Grospierre, TATTARRATTAT, 2010.
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Artist Nicolas Grospierre works in an expanded field of photography, exploring the social organization of space. <i>TATTARRATTAT</i>'s format is a unique way of representing the nuances and individuality found in architecture, which is often difficult to
Artist Nicolas Grospierre works in an expanded field of photography, exploring the social organization of space. TATTARRATTAT's format is a unique way of representing the nuances and individuality found in architecture, which is often difficult to communicate when a viewer isn't physically present at the structure.Nicolas Grospierre, TATTARRATTAT, 2010.
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The plan of Pallazzo Dona.<br /><br />Nicolas Grospierre, <i>TATTARRATTAT</i>, 2010.
The plan of Pallazzo Dona.Nicolas Grospierre, TATTARRATTAT, 2010.
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<i>Hydroklinika</i> is a series of 32 photographs of a treatment spa complex built between 1976 and 1981 in Druskininkai, Lithuania.<br /><br />Nicolas Grospierre, <i>Hydroklinika</i>, 2004, D-Print on Wood, 19 3/4" x 19 3/4".
Hydroklinika is a series of 32 photographs of a treatment spa complex built between 1976 and 1981 in Druskininkai, Lithuania.Nicolas Grospierre, Hydroklinika, 2004, D-Print on Wood, 19 3/4" x 19 3/4".
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The complex—which could accommodate up to 500 patients— boasted 50 healing rooms, 80 thermal baths, 40 mud baths, and an underground pool.<br /><br />Nicolas Grospierre, <i>Hydroklinika</i>, 2004, D-Print on Wood, 19 3/4" x 19 3/4".
The complex—which could accommodate up to 500 patients— boasted 50 healing rooms, 80 thermal baths, 40 mud baths, and an underground pool.Nicolas Grospierre, Hydroklinika, 2004, D-Print on Wood, 19 3/4" x 19 3/4".
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Grospierre photographed the facility in 2004, a year before it was partially demolished and turned into a water park.<br /><br />Nicolas Grospierre, <i>Hydroklinika</i>, 2004, D-Print on Wood, 19 3/4" x 19 3/4".
Grospierre photographed the facility in 2004, a year before it was partially demolished and turned into a water park.Nicolas Grospierre, Hydroklinika, 2004, D-Print on Wood, 19 3/4" x 19 3/4".
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The complex was built by little-known architects Romuladas and Ausra Silinskas on a ternary plan, which means each element is repeated by a multiple of three.<br /><br />Nicolas Grospierre, <i>Hydroklinika</i>, 2004, D-Print on Wood, 19 3/4" x 19 3/4".
The complex was built by little-known architects Romuladas and Ausra Silinskas on a ternary plan, which means each element is repeated by a multiple of three.Nicolas Grospierre, Hydroklinika, 2004, D-Print on Wood, 19 3/4" x 19 3/4".
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Grospierre photographed each of the interior and exterior elements in what he calls a "global, objective, and systematic" way, and though many of the photographs initially appear to be the same, they are actually different parts of the building.<br /><br
Grospierre photographed each of the interior and exterior elements in what he calls a "global, objective, and systematic" way, and though many of the photographs initially appear to be the same, they are actually different parts of the building.Nicolas Grospierre, Hydroklinika, 2004, D-Print on Wood, 19 3/4" x 19 3/4".
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The artist commented that the eerie emptiness of the abruptly abandoned building reminded him of a modern day Pompeii.<br /><br />Nicolas Grospierre, <i>Hydroklinika</i>, 2004, D-Print on Wood, 19 3/4" x 19 3/4".
The artist commented that the eerie emptiness of the abruptly abandoned building reminded him of a modern day Pompeii.Nicolas Grospierre, Hydroklinika, 2004, D-Print on Wood, 19 3/4" x 19 3/4".
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Nicolas Grospierre, <i>Hydroklinika</i>, 2004, D-Print on Wood, 19 3/4" x 19 3/4"
Nicolas Grospierre, Hydroklinika, 2004, D-Print on Wood, 19 3/4" x 19 3/4"
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The plan of Romaldas and Ausra Silinskan's Hydrokilinika.<br /><br />Romaldas and Ausra Silinskan, <i>Hydroklinika</i>, Druskinkai. Plan.
The plan of Romaldas and Ausra Silinskan's Hydrokilinika.Romaldas and Ausra Silinskan, Hydroklinika, Druskinkai. Plan.
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Tracing a path of reflections through a series of convex mirrors, the two-channel projection <i>TATTARRATTAT</i> guides viewers on two simultaneous tours of a 14th century Venetian palazzo.<br /><br />Nicolas Grospierre, <i>TATTARRATTAT</i>, 2010, 43 ¼” x
Tracing a path of reflections through a series of convex mirrors, the two-channel projection TATTARRATTAT guides viewers on two simultaneous tours of a 14th century Venetian palazzo.Nicolas Grospierre, TATTARRATTAT, 2010, 43 ¼” x 51 ½”.

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