The MuCEM in Marseille, a surrealist piece of LED illumination on the seafrontDownload the PDF
On its 40th anniversary, LEC looks back on its contribution to lighting with Yann Kersalé: the MuCEM in Marseille, an LED constellation.
"It’s one of my most beautiful works, both poetic and surrealist."
Yann Kersalé, Lighting Artist
We knew that Yann Kersalé was a bold lighting artist. Nonetheless, in 2013, he went to a whole new level of creativity when he used LEDs to light the MuCEM in Marseille, a building designed by his friend and architect Rudy Ricciotti.
Yann Kersalé explains how he managed to create “a bright and radiant form like the scales of a blue fish”, along the Marseille seafront.
Yann Kersalé recalls his collaboration with LEC
Altering the purpose without touching the core
Over the last 40 years, one major criterion that has always affected my relationship with partners on projects has been feasibility. Communication is key because my work is far from classic, I transform the object. That is why I create sculptures with all the shapes of the urban environment.
My professional trademark is altering the purpose. I have received lots of positive feedback for that over the years. Hence my requirement for large amounts of flexibility from my backers.
In the end, my pieces are never the same: they adapt harmoniously to their environment, and tell a new story each time.
Creating a bright and radiant form like the scales of a blue fish
Creating a ‘constellation’ on the roof of Marseille’s MuCEM
I knew about LEC’s abilities to build the impossible. I insisted on working with them again because I knew I could truly transform the object and obtain the desired result, which was to move away from the norms with an industrial base.
With LEC, you don’t just work but collaborate in harmony, because they take on the project as if it were their own. To continue the maritime metaphor, I would say they are hard-working seamen who create the right product on demand. For this project, I asked them to construct a ‘constellation’ on the roof on the MuCEM and marking along part of the footbridge.
To achieve that, we drew everything beforehand and we even pre-installed a part on a 4x3 m area in the factory, before the building was even built.
Choosing LEDs for their quality and durability
The final installation is the design that I would recommend, and it got the public’s approval. I am really happy that people like it and that it adapts to the atmospheric conditions thanks to the high-quality equipment. We succeeded in distorting the object’s shape without losing quality nor durability.
I am particularly pleased to have chosen LED luminaires. They are reliable and ensure my work lives on.
⇒ Did you know?
In 1977, LEC decided to focus all its attention on LED technology. These decades of dedicated expertise have allowed the company to meet strict requirements in terms of reliability, efficiency, maintenance and aesthetic appeal. Relive with us 40 historic years devoted to LED technology and the lighting industry.