Sarah ORTMEYER pays homage to the universal symbol and the iconographic myth that is the Eiffel Tower and the structure’s often-forgotten original engineer, Maurice Koechlin. VITRINE MAURICE (2011) consists of a series of objects and furnishings – all taken from an undisclosed room – which have been laid out in similar fashion to the ‘Collection Yves Saint Laurent et Pierre Bergé’ auction in 2009. The items comprise a range of tacit motifs and abstract invocations of the Eiffel Tower’s singularly monumental shape and history. This icon of Paris and cypher of modernity appears through a series of triangular objects, patterns, formal echoes, and refrains that one could barely track in the original room. They include the DKR2 – Charles Eames’ ‘Eiffel Tower’ chair (which mimics its namesake with a darkly colored base and lightly bronzed top), as well fabric and carpet motifs. Despite Gustave Eiffel’s defense of the Tower as a utilitarian object, its glamorous uselessness has proved irresistible to the imagination and ensures that, as Roland Barthes once put it, “the Tower attracts meaning the way a lightning rod attracts thunderbolts”.