February 25, 2018 - Les Abattoirs - Renaud Jerez: Black Mirror
February 25, 2018

Les Abattoirs

Installation view of Renaud Jerez, When Tania arrived at home, 2016, Galerie Crèvecoeur, Paris. © Courtesy the artist and Crèvecoeur Paris. Photo: Aurélien Mole.

Renaud Jerez
Black Mirror
February 16–August 26, 2018

Les Abattoirs
76 allées Charles de Fitte
Les Abattoirs, Musée - Frac Occitanie Toulouse
31300 Toulouse
Hours: Wednesday–Sunday 12–6pm,
Thursday 12–8pm

T +33 5 62 48 58 00

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For his first solo exhibition in a museum in France, Renaud Jerez (1982, France) has created a total architectural intervention that has proven all at once to be a domestic space, an exhibition venue, and an artwork in its own right, which appears to have taken over Les Abattoirs. The visitors are invited to circulate within this familiar yet strange environment, to meet others, to find themselves, and some of the surprising characters that inhabit it. In this immersive installation, the architectural and domestic language—garden, lamps, sofas, objects, etc.—is at once familiar and volatile, perverse and real. Working in all media, with a predilection for sculpture, Renaud Jerez uses artisanal and industrial materials to create artworks in which the precarious or abject sabotage the fluidity and smooth whiteness that contemporary civilisation so covets.

The art of Renaud Jerez is based on the theories of “uncanny valley” and “The Architectural Uncanny." These lines of thought developed alongside the rise of robotics, highlighting the fact that the more the humanoid objects or other cyborgs appear human, the more their differences become strike us. Like the monstrous characters of fairytales or haunted houses, they thus give rise to mixed emotions, between attraction and repulsion.

Representative of a generation that has understood that there are no more limits between the real and the virtual, or, if any do remain, that they remain to be explored, Renaud Jerez questions the potential advent of a “technological singularity”: artificial intelligence would unleash unpredictable changes in human society, changes that would notably be incarnated by “robot-mummies," disturbing and burlesque hybrid characters. On the scale of the architecture, this artistic uncanny constructs a space in Les Abattoirs that evolves along the cusp of a border maintained between the joys of the macabre and a colourful apocalypse, in which all normative borders are breached.

Renaud Jerez was born in 1982 in Narbonne, France. Now he lives and works in Paris after living in Berlin, Germany and in Switzerland. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, followed by the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris. His recent personal exhibitions took place at the ICA in Miami, at the MOCA and at Fahrenheit-Flax Foundation in Los Angeles (2016), at the National Gallery in Prague (2015), and also at GAMeC, Bergame, and Autocenter, Berlin (2014). He also participated in many collective exhibitions, Utopia/Distopia (MAAT, Lisbon, 2017) and Metamorphosis (KAI10 | Arthena Foundation, Düsseldorf, in 2017, the triennial Surround Audience (New Museum, New York, 2015), Geographies of Contamination (David Roberts Art Foundation, London, 2014) and finally DOOM : SURFACE Contrôle (Le Magasin, Centre National d’art Contemporain, Grenoble, 2014), an exhibition that he curated. He presents here his first monographic exhibition in a French museum.


Also at Les Abattoirs: Gisèle Vienne
Gisèle Vienne (born in 1976), a French-Austrian choreographer, artist, director, and photographer, works within the fields of live performance and fine arts. At the heart of her photographic and staged narratives, puppets embody ambiguous and troubling characters. Caught between strength and fragility, teenage models sport the outfits of a trashy, melancholic world. Seemingly as absent as they are present, they exude an air of the uncanny. Following the tradition of the falsely artisanal practice of puppetry, Gisèle Vienne surpasses the surrealist legacy to paint a psychological portrait of the contemporary teenager.

Last year, Les Abattoirs acquired 9 works derived from the 40 Portraits and Through their Tears series. On the occasion of the presentation in early April of the play Jerk at the Théâtre Garonne, Les Abattoirs are presenting a series of photographs and a film by the artist that encourages the audience to go beyond appearances and follow the theme of a world on the brink of collapse.

Les Abattoirs
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