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Deconstructing Paris’ Grand Palais In An Astonishing Architectural Illusion

Pierre Delavie's newest "architectural abduction" will make you gawk before you walk inside the building.

Pierre Delavie specializes in architectural illusions, most strikingly transforming Paris’ Hotel George V into a dripping Gaudi-esque mirage. Using a combination of added structural elements and projected lights in a process called "architectural abduction," the French artist traps buildings as they’re seemingly mid-collapse or about to evaporate into a time warp. From far away, his latest project—the Grand Palais/Neo—resembles a collage, an architectural representation of an ancient empire, cut and pasted.

Delavie deconstructed the entrance of Paris’ iconic museum as part of the exhibition “I, Augustus, Emperor of Rome.” Commemorating the two thousandth anniversary of Augustus’ death, Delavie hopes the dilapidating building echoes neoclassical architecture and forces viewers to ask, “Is seeing really believing?”

Ever since the Grand Palais was built in 1900, it has hosted major artistic events of Paris such as Matisse’s first major retrospective after his death and extravagant Chanel haute couture shows. We’d wager this is the first time it’s been visually torn apart in the name of art, though. By peeling away the perfect facade of this historical venue, Delavie invites visitors to gawk, then walk in. 

The eye-catching manipulation and "I, Augustus, Emperor of Rome," runs until July 13. See the artist's website for more.

h/t DesignBoom