╳ Lux Inside

‘Lux Inside’ is a project that combines medical scanners with digital art and photography to produce images that reveal the workmanship and savoir-faire of luxury goods.  The spectacular ‘Lux Inside’ exhibition, on show last year in Paris, revealed the hidden side of 13 iconic objects, amongst which were Christian Louboutin shoes, a Hermès saddle and Gibson guitar.  The images unveiled were facilitated by a ‘generation’ scanner, to give visitors the possibility to see what the human eye cannot capture, and an auction of the selected items has been arranged, with the purpose of raising funds to help the Quixotik and the Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque association.

╳  “Nowadays we are at a point where we cannot trust the outside appearance of a luxury object,” says Laurence Picot, a Paris-based writer and specialist in the world of luxury.  “We need to know what’s inside because of the disappearing savoir-faire, inventors quitting their countries and delocalistaion.”

╳  Inspired by the continued demise of French artisans, in 2008 Picot set out to do more than just write about the luxury industry’s predicament.  “As a journalist, I realised that I never had the space to write the full story about these products, about the workmanship that is dying and the artisans who no longer have jobs,” she says.  We’re an image society.  If you don’t show the workmanship, how can we see it?”

╳  Working with Jean Francois Paul, a leading radiologist, Ricardo Escobar, a digital artist and Slyvain Ordureau, an internationally renowned software inventor, Picot began to create images that literally show the inside of products.  By utilising the same scanners used in hospitals, and combining this with photography and pioneering software, the team were able to produce remarkable works of art that actually reveal the process of a product’s creation.  In a bespoke shoe made by Paris-based Pierre Corthay, the unusual tools used in its last can be seen underneath its shiny leather exterior.  In a Dupont lighter, its patented technology can be seen surrounded by fuel.  And, with a pair of couture gloves by Mary Beyer, the hand-shaped pattern appears as an x-ray skeleton, and by 2010, Picot and her technical supporters had 14 revealing images, from bottles of Louis XIII cognac to a Dyson vacuum cleaner.

╳  Lux Inside negotiates a curious relationship between luxury artisans and medical apparatus, something not lost on Picot.  “Hospitals and medical equipment is not my usual universe.  But for me it is correct because I wanted to show the human ­beings inside a product.”