affranchir la ligne, a public art commission for the lobby of a sports complex, plays with the iconography of the gym floor, bending wood into curves and twists like floorboards set free. The freeform curves evoke the energy of athletes and the rebellious adolescent quest for identity.
The artwork is composed of two pieces. In one, five boards seem to emerge from the wall and probe the space around it. In the second piece, suspended over the lobby, a dozen boards unfurl from a central radius creating a whirlwind of wood.
Like the floor in the adjacent gymnasium, the work is made of maple and painted with colored lines. Unlike the floor, in the artwork the wood is shaped by bent lamination and the colored lines are fractured as the boards go their separate ways.
The title affranchir la ligne means literally to set the line free. It also calls to mind the common expression franchir la ligne: to cross the line – like the winner of a race or a rule-breaker, liberty and virtuosity combined.