A sea of dunes. An unpopulated seaside resort. Hands putting together a heap of documents. The landscape is an architecture.
“It’s winter under the heavy sky, the sea has retreated and the wind draws lines of sand on the asphalt roads of “Stella”, a seaside town in Northern France; it appears soundless and deserted. In the deep of the night, the horizon moves at the pace of the dunes, one by one they engulf the steep plan of the city. In front of this swaying landscape, hands are putting together a heap of documents, collecting and sorting them—drawings, samples, scans of landscapes, thermographies—thus elaborating a manifold, experimental cartography of the city, erecting Stella in a milieu where the relationship between the instability of earthly matter and the authority of geometry becomes graspable. Waiving the traditional opposition between nature and architecture, “Stella” is a film about work as necessary condition for perception, in which Elsa Brès teaches us how to look at a mutating space. The inside is the place from which we, as would an explorer, a traveller-botanist, an archivist or an archaeologist, reassemble in a constellation the elements that represent and compose the exterior space, from framed estate agency views to measures, geological samples and the like. The outdoor space then appears as a collage of forms and stuffs, constantly interpenetrating each other. When the maquette literally melts down on the city maps, a movement of fusion irreversibly blurs the distinction between the building from which the work organizes itself and the surrounding sea of dunes: the buildings are worn away, the landscape is an architecture.”
— Charlotte Bayer-Broc (translated by Charlotte Thevenet)