Véronique Patteeuw & Benoît Rossel

Le Chant du styrène, Alain Resnais, 1958

Architecture and cinéma
Fabrication and narration of the matter

Tuesday 22 November 2022, 6.30 p.m.
Old cinema Eldorado, Maison du peuple
Place Chauderon 5, 1003 Lausanne

6.40 p.m. – Projection of the short film Le Chant du styrène directed by Alain Resnais in 1958
7 p.m. – Projection of an extract from the film Koyaanisqatsi directed by Godfrey Reggio in 1983
7.15 p.m. – Discussion with Véronique Patteeuw and Benoît Rossel, moderated by Romain Barth, followed by an aperitif

Evoking the ultimate matter, the one that remains after any valorization process, comes down to talking about the matter that is produced upstream, from an industrial manufacturing process.

While Alain Resnais’s short film Le Chant du styrène traces the manufacturing chain of plastic by associating the machine with progress, Godfrey Reggio’s film Koyaanisqatsi proposes an overabundance of images narrating the mass of industrial matter, making explicit “the limits to growth” – to quote one of the Club of Rome’s reports – while creating a dizzying sense of dread in the viewer. How can we represent and be represented by matter and its manufacturing process, especially when it is poorly documented? Do we perceive the industrial object as detached from its manufacturing process and from the social organization of production that is necessary for it?

During an evening, Véronique Patteeuw, architect, teacher at EPFL and Benoît Rossel, director, teacher at ECAL, will approach, through a historical perspective, the impact of matter on the perception of our territory as well as our body and will cross their views in order to understand the narrative processes (of the order of aestheticization, mysticism or even a certain realism) which underlie the representation of matter.

A program organized with Romain Barth in the context of the exhibition Ultimate Matter and the architecture and cinema series. In collaboration with Ecrans Urbains, Fondation CUB.

Koyaanisqatsi, Godfrey Reggio, 1983
Koyaanisqatsi, Godfrey Reggio, 1983


Véronique Patteeuw is a lecturer at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture et du Paysage de Lille and visiting professor at EPFL Lausanne and KULeuven. She is the academic editor of OASE, Journal for Architecture. Her research focuses on the relevance of architectural history to the challenges of the new climate regime. She was the co-curator of the 10th edition of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam. Patteeuw recently co-edited Modernities (2021), Critical Regionalism Revisited (2019), and Mediated Messages: Periodicals, Exhibitions and the Shaping of Postmodern Architecture (2018).

Benoît Rossel is a film director of Swiss and French nationality. He has directed some twenty films on the world of theater and opera: Wilson / Huppert (2001), Wilsonmachine (2003), Olivier Py, Tristan and Isolde (2007) with Robert Wilson, Isabelle Huppert or Olivier Py. As well as three feature-length documentaries awarded in festivals such as Le Théâtre des opérations (2007) on the journey of a young doctor during his training as a surgeon and In Art We Trust (2018) on the relationship of artists to their practice. He has also created installations for designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec at the Centre Pompidou Metz and has worked on several programs and thematic evenings for Arte. Benoît Rossel is currently a professor at the Ecole cantonale de Lausanne where he teaches in the cinema department.