With its pyramid-shaped façade and mascarons, typical of a style also known as “Nantes baroque”, Le Temple du Goût (18th century) is listed as a historical heritage monument. Before parts of the Loire were filled, boats would berth along the quay (at the foot of the mansion) to unload their merchandise in the warehouses and ground-floor shops.
Fascinated by metaphysics, chemistry and the occult sciences, Bianca Bondi experiments with organic and synthetic materials, which she selects for the physical, symbolic and energetic properties attributed to them by ancestral cultures and their use in magical rites. Bondi creates immersive, fragile and dreamlike installations in which processes of crystallization, concretion and erosion result from chemical solutions being applied to objects; out of this emerges the contradictory impression of both a possible regeneration and a disturbing contamination. These landscapes are designed to resemble paintings, confirming the artist’s obsession with the ties connecting humans to both the living and spirit world. Like a shaman or a current-day sorceress, Bianca Bondi transforms the Temple du Goût into an altar to an unknown cult.
Bondi was inspired by the presence/absence of water in the city – from the river’s port activity to its transactions with distant worlds. The chemical ceremony at the heart of The Faint House of Yes involves embalming every space on site, each one of which dedicated to a protective material that fulfills a primary function: salt (eating), beeswax (protecting), aromatic herbs (drinking), water (washing), and light (dreaming).
Bianca Bondi (Johannesburg, South Africa, 1986) lives and works in Paris.
She is represented by Mor Charpentier gallery (Paris).
© Bianca Bondi