Born in Brussels in 1969, Lionel Jadot is an interior designer, artist, designer, filmmaker, adventurer. But all at once, preferably.
Lionel Jadot is firing on all cylinders. ‘I never throw anything, I pick up everything. Not having a green thumb, I’m trying cuttings, weddings against nature. I never forget a line.’ He’s inviting us in subtle, off-beat worlds, on the edge of reality. Its material is made of dilated time. A wandering spirit, he seeks a protective balance in a hostile world. It is his constant questioning: what happens to the place where we live?
For Lionel Jadot, everything is object, everything is history. He draws from other places, other times, and seeks what’s linking them. He sews, stitches, unpicks, blends materials, combines eras. He will enshrine some wood essence in metal, some mineral in a plant, the old in the new. ‘I take extra care to the joint between two materials.’ With him, there is always some play in the parts, as in a piece of machinery. From a kingdom to another, he provokes organic, viral growths, generating energy.
Linking past and future, he never forgets a line. ‘I accumulates them.’ He’s inviting us in subtle worlds, off-beat, on the edge of reality. Are we in 1930 or in 2030? Both, no doubt. Its material is made of dilated time.
The eye goes hand in hand with the ear. ‘When I walk into a place, I listen to the good (or bad) it does to me. An ineffable feeling.’ He recreates mutant buildings, like the future Royal Botanique, a 5 stars hotel housed in the Church of the Gesu, a former convent behind a 1940 façade. He talks about a ‘hotel object’, which he holds and turns around in his hand.
A wandering spirit, he’s flirting with retro-futurism. The Jam, another hotel, is intended for urban travelers, fans of swiftness, fluidity and hospitality. He designs interiors as a set of objects: a motorcycle cut in concrete becomes a bar counter. He finds gothic cartoon echoes, from the likes of Moebius, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Enki Bilal, sets from Garage Hermétique and Blade Runner, a protective balance in a hostile world.
‘I do not throw anything, I fix everything. I pick up pieces of wood. I do not have a green thumb, I try cuttings, weddings against nature. A trunk wrapped in a copper matrix becomes a bench.’ He diverts ‘music stand lamps, transformed in brass tree, and an orchestra enlightens you.’ A 18th century Dutch cabinet becomes building and milfoil, roofing marquetry on the outside and scales of paper inside. The Camshaft seat ‘office chair carcass 1930 dresses in solid beech stressed with Honda plates’. His recipe for the Outgrowth coffee table: dropping off a ceiling sheet by Christophe Gevers and let it grow constructivist feet of various species. He attempts graftings: for his Prima Wheels motorcycle, a tree branch frames the skeleton of a BMW RT100 1982, with a camel saddle. The Caliber chair follows the traditional style. ‘Breaking the mold, I get a new assembly’: period chairs, original patrons, van seat and cushions in 18th century tapestry. Its Bamboo Edge lamp tours the world : an early 20th century cast iron pavement roadroller, a belt buckle from Mali, a curved bamboo, a Tibetan singing bowl in bronze, a marble block. The AutoWall screen is a rusty car parts totem with lacquered metal counterpoint. For the Hanging Dog chandelier, four Moroccan braided leather leashes hold a Japanese assembly made of pieces of wood, glass and brass.