A former block of affordable housing located in the heart of the Bellevue district, the left side of the Maison des Sports was renovated, while another part was added on. When rehabilitating the premises, the Comité Régional Olympique Sportif (CROS) of the Loire areas redefined the image it wanted to give to its new Maison: We want this building to come alive by getting people to come in and see us here and opening it up to the district. In future, events and colloquiums would be organized on a regular basis. The patrons took the step of encouraging the integration of the building into the social fabric of the district by asking an artist to design a specific work for the front of the building.
Thirty large-format photographs (200 x 140 cm), printed on sheet metal, were mounted on panels affixed perpendicularly to the façade. These black and white images present both portraits of sportsmen and women – anonymous individuals, stars recognized worldwide in their discipline, dominant figures in regional sport – and portraits of local children in outfits appropriate to the different sporting disciplines: football, cycling, horse-riding, ice-based sports, gymnastics, tennis, table tennis, swimming... all sports are represented. Adults and children are present in equal numbers. Moreover the photographic ensemble highlights the value of sport as a means of social integration.
The mediator suggested bringing in Braco Dimitrijevic with whom he had already collaborated in the context of the activities of the Arlogos gallery. His method which is affiliated to conceptual art proceeds from a critical approach to art history. From the end of the 1970s, Dimitrijevic, himself once a high-level sportsman, has been creating his famous Triptychos post historicus in which he questions a time regarded as being post-historical in which real, dated facts and their subjective interpretation by the imagination would be perceived simultaneously. His work also involves the medium of photography (portraits, posters...); this enables him to overturn an overly passive attitude by the viewer in a mediatised world. Thus, in 1989, the photographic portrait of an anonymous individual adorned the façade of the Pompidou Centre during the exhibition Les Magiciens de la Terre (The earth's magicians).