Close to a century after the building’s construction, this Banque de France outpost, rendered obsolete by the introduction of the Euro, is transformed into an arts center.

It is plainly titled Lab-Labanque, a testament to its concern with projective experimentation and its own idiosyncratic context. Dedicated to the production and diffusion of visual culture as it relates to the contemporary city, it is equal parts laboratory, exhibition space, and labyrinth. The program’s scope in media is broad – including temporary installation, photography, video, sculpture, painting, and industrial design – but refined in premise.The center explores the relationship between art and architecture as an urban catalyst within a self-reflexively charged material field. The space is anything but a white box. Layered, complex, awkward, the installation and workshops are unapologetic in their material and symbolic allusion to the refuge and transfer of capital. Projects are constructed, performed, and displayed in decadently surfaced lobbies, director’s offices, in vaults, archives, offering the possibility of critical engagement with the physical realm of cultural and capital production.

– Anya Sirota