May 28, 2012 - Jeu de Paume - Laurent Grasso
May 28, 2012

Laurent Grasso

Laurent Grasso, On Air, 2009. DVD Pro HD, 17:30 minutes, looped.*

Laurent Grasso

Until 23 September 2012

Jeu de Paume
1, Place de la Concorde
75008 Paris
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All observation is a partial way of apprehending reality. The work of Laurent Grasso explores the interstices of this partial observation, that is to say, the spaces of uncertainty or doubt aroused by any conjecture—whether in the field of science, history, perception, or belief—in order to construct parallel realities capable of testing our system of knowledge and our critical capacity. The point, for him, is not to test the truth of our suppositions, but to exploit their fractures and tensions and make them the raw material of his work. Observation, but also control, surveillance, the power or domination of science or belief, as well as the simultaneity or reversibility of time, are among the fields he explores. The commonly held perception according to which it is the instruments of observation and surveillance that wield power, independently of those who manipulate them, is what Grasso puts into practice.

In this exhibition at Jeu de Paume, Laurent Grasso extends this notion of “diffuse power” (what Michel Foucault would have called “de-individualised power”) that we tend to attribute to surveillance devices in order to elicit ideas about the panoptical strategies of power. He has specially conceived a labyrinthine set-up complete with corridors and double passages, based on the panopticon idea. This affords visitors singular experiential spaces that constantly impel them to reconfigure their grid references.

By proposing a simultaneity of temporal and spatial experiences, by extending the relation between the known and the unknown, or contracting the distance between the visible and the unverifiable, Grasso reveals the asymmetry between seeing and being seen. In his work the principle of the panoptical machine as an apparatus that can be used to institute, direct, and modify a way of controlling individual conduct, that both of those exercising and those undergoing surveillance, becomes a narrative and at the same time aesthetic instrument of the utmost interest.

Curated by the artist and Marta Gili.

Exhibition co-produced by Jeu de Paume, Paris and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, with the help of the Compagnie de Phalsbourg.

Also at Jeu de Paume until September 23: Eva Besnyö (1910–2003): The Sensuous Image and Rosa Barba: Back Door Exposure.

Jeu de Paume receives a subsidy from the French ministry of Culture and Communication.
It gratefully acknowledges special support from Neuflize Vie, its global partner, for the exhibition Laurent Grasso: Uraniborg.

*Image above:
Laurent Grasso, On Air, 2009. DVD Pro HD, 17:30 minutes, looped.
Courtesy Galerie chez Valentin, Paris and Sean Kelly Gallery, New York. © Laurent Grasso / ADAGP, Paris, 2012.



Jeu de Paume presents Laurent Grasso
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