September 5, 2017 - BPS22, Hainaut Province's Art Museum - Raphaël Zarka: Riding Modern Art
September 5, 2017

BPS22, Hainaut Province's Art Museum

Raphaël Zarka, Paving Space, Espai d’Art Contemporani de Castelló (Eacc), Spain, 2017. Skater: Adrian Fuentes. Photo: Stan Laurentiu.

Raphaël Zarka
Riding Modern Art
September 2, 2017–January 7, 2018

BPS22, Hainaut Province's Art Museum
Boulevard Solvay,22
6000 Charleroi
Belgium
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–7pm

T +32 71 27 29 71
info@bps22.be

www.bps22.be
Facebook / Instagram

Raphaël Zarka
Riding Modern Art
September 2, 2017–January 7, 2018

BPS22, Hainaut Province's Art Museum
Boulevard Solvay,22
6000 Charleroi
Belgium
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–7pm

T +32 71 27 29 71
info@bps22.be

www.bps22.be
Facebook / Instagram

The Art Museum of the Hainaut Province currently presents the first major Belgian museum show of French artist Raphaël Zarka (Montpellier, 1977). The exhibition produced in collaboration with the Espai d'art contemporani de Castelló focuses on skateboarding and is held from September 2, 2017 to January 7, 2018.

Raphaël Zarka is a singular artist who excels in sculpture, drawing, photography or still, video. He is also known and recognised as one of the rare historians of skateboarding, a discipline he has practiced since a very young age. He has published three works on the subject: The Forbidden Conjunction (2003), On a Day with No Wave. A Chronicle of Skateboarding 1779 - 2009 (2006) and Free Ride, skateboard, mécanique galiléenne et formes simples (2011).

When he was at art school, Raphaël Zarka measured the extent to which skateboarding influenced his perception of forms and materials. He understands that his interest for typologies of forms and surface techniques meets his preoccupations as a skater who freely exploits spaces (handrails, benches, etc.) and the declivities of cities to tie them together in a course.

In 2007, he presented the first elements of his series "Riding Modern Art" during the Lyon biennial. The black and white photographs drawn from skateboarding magazines represent skaters performing tricks on modern sculptures installed in the public space. The photographs underline the way skaters take over the urban space, including the most famous pieces of art history. Since then, the series has become a huge participative work to which several photographers and skaters contribute. The BPS22 is proud to present it for the first time in its most extensive version, including 47 photographs taken across the globe.

Pursuing his researches on the typology of forms, Raphaël Zarka now focuses on the geometric volumes identified by German mathematician Arthur Moritz Schoenflies (1853–1928). He takes over module 329, a sort of U with bevelled edges, and orders several copies in corten steel before assembling these modules into various sculptures and inviting other skaters to ride his works, as though in a real skate park! With the "Paving Space" series, the artist encompasses his many preoccupations in one installation to create a powerful sculptural whole from a shape that he appropriated and invite skaters to take it over too. Through this dialogue between works and skaters, between museum and street, Raphaël Zarka topples over the traditional values of the art world.

For the show at the BPS22, the Large Hall of the Museum is exceptionally transformed into a orignial skate park. 47 modules make up sculptures accessible to skaters. From up on the mezzanine, visitors appreciate the sculptural strength of the assembled modules evoking a large park of modern sculptures and the virtuosity of skaters. Skate is all about style, just like art.

Curator: Pierre-Olivier Rollin

Authors of the photographs for the "Riding Modern Art" series: Éric Antoine, Loïc Benoit, Dave Chami, Robert Christ, Jon Coulthard, Ryan Flynn, Gaston Francisco, Matt Georges, Hendrik Herzmann, Nikwen, Tuukka Kaila, Bryce Kanights, Guillaume Langlois, Ludica, Alan Maag, Jonathan Mehring, Ian O'Connor, Patxi Pardinas, Guillaume Périmony, Alberto Polo, Leo Preisinger, Adam Sello, Bertrand Trichet, Seu Trinh, David Turakiewicz, Davy Van Laere, Marcel Veldman, Maxime Verret and Alexis Zavialoff.

A co-production with Espai d'art contemporani de Castelló (Valencia, Spain).
Within the framework of EXTRA, with the support of the French Institute and the Service of Cooperation and Cultural Action of the French Embassy in Belgium.

Raphaël Zarka is represented by Michel Rein/Paris-Brussels gallery and Luciana Brito gallery, São Paulo.

Press contact: Laure Houben
M +32 474 91 44 40 / laure.houben [​at​] bps22.be

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Riding Modern Art
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