Project Description

Structures in Chaos

“Structures in Chaos” questions the widespread belief in rationality or, more accurately, our assumption that reasoned decisions govern our daily lives. Isabelle Grosse considers whether what we take as “rational” is a mere belief in a construct, with glitches and chinks we choose to ignore, that allows us to feel our lives are tidy and safe. Isabelle Grosse’s subjects are objects in a state of natural disarray on which she superimposes her technique of Outlining, until it appears absurd :  heaps of unsorted candies and lego, garbage rubbish, wasteland, hair strewn on the floor, dead sea coral washed up on the shore, used coffee capsules, sundry debris…  By superimposing a mock structure on these random objects, Grosse brings to the fore the possibility that the ways we systematize our lives are fundamentally arbitrary.

This series « Structures in Chaos » branches out into several sub-series.


One sub-series adresses consumption from the beginning to the end of the chain of consumption: a display of candy ready to be enjoyed, capsules of Nespresso that have just been used, dust from a vacuum before it has been thrown away, and a wasteland of our collective refuse.

Activity and interaction

Another sub-series is related to activity and interaction beginning with children’s play: the legos represent the end of the party and group play, the hair on the hairdresser’s floor exhibits the contract between the service provider and the client, and the profusion of love locks in a place points to a collective agreement.

Cultural consumption, simplistic communication

The third sub-series adresses cultural consumption and simplistic communication.

By shredding iconic works of literature like Hamlet in its original English or the poetry book Les chants de Maldoror, Isabelle Grosse points to the way –  based on a fragment – we understand an enormous piece of art. In the same way, the handmade mess of smileys point to another example of simplistic communication – this time, the rampant use of a single emoticon to convey complex feelings.


The series