Construction plans and technical sketches provide the starting material for Lionel Favre`s work. Using black ink, he spontaneously covers the sheets with narrative drawings, imaginatively filling the architectural framework given with surrealist scenarios. Various objects and figures spread across the surfaces, breathe new life into them, settle in extant spaces, and reinterpret them. Having long since yellowed and become useless in the course of time, the plans are not only made unreadable by the drawings, but also put to an intended use in terms of their function. Scales become distorted, perspectives shift. Through its transformation into a pictorial ground, the plans are endowed with new meaning.

Elsy Lahner, Translation by Wolfgang Astelbauer

At first glance, one would not suspect fantasy in technical plans. These old and handmade industrial documents are setting out an architectural space, which I bring to life through organic hand drawings. They flourish across the space and nest in pre-defined places. A synergy comes to life between science and fantasy, industry and art, concrete and abstract. This redefines the space and gives a new surrealistic meaning to the seemingly obsolete plans. Through my transformation they get a new function and a new readability.

I collect old and handmade industrial documents such as architectural drawings, wiring diagrams, construction plans of mechanical parts and blue prints. Due to fast evolving technology these plans have become redundant. Through my modifications, they receive a new function. Using their graphic lines as an architectural base I add free hand drawing, using black ink to create a spontaneous narrative drawing, which brings an organic dimension to the plans. To me, these documents are a testimony of our world’s transformation, moving from analog to digital. The original structure of the plan is a challenge to my creativity that incites me to see how close I can bring the free hand drawing to the straight technical lines of the engineer. To modify the plans, I must first redraw the existing lines that have faded with time. Often lines that couldn’t clearly be seen bring the composition of the picture to a stable structure. A clear vision of the available space allows me to apply my own interpretation of their history.

When the difference between the original lines and the ones I have created cannot be seen, a symbiosis between the reality and the imagination is achieved. Similarly, the same happens between the historic meaning of the plans and my own interpretation. The engineer becomes an artist and the artist becomes an engineer.

Lionel Favre

Happy to be part of FUKT Magazin Numero 18.