FORGE is a typographic foundry built in a volcano. It invites the visitor to explore its galleries, nests and core, in which typographic and sound characters live.
The name of the project highlights the links between a foundry and a forge, the most obvious of which are metal and fire. In these two places, tools are manufactured, which are themselves useful in the making of other creations, such as mechanical instruments or works of art. Lead movable types, combined with a press, ink and paper, are used to print books. The hammer, combined with the anvil and the four elements, makes it possible to create other tools, weapons, or jewelleries.
The whole project is based on the ambiguity between the terms 'Character Design' and 'Dessin de Caractères', raising the alphabets to the rank of characters, with their own voice. Since writing is about making speech visible, the main ambition of FORGE is to feature audible typographical characters.
The Greek god Hephaistos, installed in his mythical forge located in the heart of the Etna, manufactured his automatons according to the very principles of the mechanics of life. Like the Greek deity, the tools and creations of FORGE are endowed with their own conscience and history. Images and letters are transformed, mixed, fused by breath and fire. These characters are conscious and gifted with speech, in short they are alive and acting. Lightning and gases from volcanic eruptions would have played a major role in creating components essential to life. In the same way, the typefaces and artworks presented here have emerged from destructive processes.
Collectively, all these cumulative notions establish a zodiac or a pantheon, in which each character seems to become a divinity and an emissary. Among every characters presented here - such as those of a video game in which the player must choose his avatar in order to begin his quest - each has its own objective, context and narrative. They encourage the visitors to meditate on nature, to question themselves on science, to contemplate landscapes, and to appreciate their fellow human beings. They are actors in a multitude of fictions but above all they are witnesses to life itself.