June 20, 2009 - Villa Arson - Ryan Gander / Gilles Barbier / Florian Pugnaire & David Raffini
June 20, 2009

Ryan Gander / Gilles Barbier / Florian Pugnaire & David Raffini

Ryan Gander THE DIE IS CAST / Gilles Barbier THE SKATING RINK / Florian Pugnaire & David Raffini EXPANDED CRASH
June 26th – October 18th 2009
Opening on June 25th 2009 at 6:00 pm

Curator: Eric Mangion

VILLA ARSON National contemporary art centre, NICE (France)
20 av Stephen Liegeard
06105 Nice Cedex – France



Ryan Gander’s work is difficult to define and to identify. He himself describes his practice as answering the intention to create something totally disconcerting. When he embarks on a project, he deliberately makes pieces that do not match the body of his previous works. Whatever medium, vehicle or device he uses, it is with the wish to reconfigure aesthetic conventions and to reinvent a practice that he also sees as a whole. Most of his works play with displacing common objects, situations or systems in which he instils an often enigmatic narrative.

The Die Is Cast is the British artist’s first important exhibition in France. A selection of pieces from the last ten years will be completed by new works produced during a three months residency at the Villa Arson. These works, for example portraits or notice board, are inspired by the specificity of the place, and are testimonials to his sometimes unexpected meetings with the students of the art school. Installations, sculptures, photographs, videos, texts or sound pieces create a course that questions both the conditions of creation, and the mechanisms of the perception and apprehension of a work of art. Ryan Gander builds his project around the dichotomy between autobiography and fiction, inside and outside, visible and invisible. His ambition is to summon the desire and responsibility of the viewer by offering the possibility to compose a narrative continuity based on associations, traces and ill-assorted elements.

Ryan Gander is represented by the the Annet Gelink Gallery (Amsterdam), Lisson Gallery (London), the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (New-York) and Taro Nasu Gallery (Tokyo).


Gilles Barbier’s work, deeply formal and prolific, has been relentlessly questioning the basic premises of knowledge and representation. Relying on hypotheses that echo one another, he has created step by step a regular language that steers clear from narrative codes and traditional criticism, and prefers unexpected conceptual and sensitive structures, all deeply intent on rendering the frailty of our convictions.

The Skating Rink organises, on an opaline stand, an ensemble of small super flat sculptures evoking something slippery: crushed bananas and avocados, oil stains, yoghurt and cheese, dog droppings… the small world of sidewalks is referred to here in order to transcribe and retrace a choreography or an orchestration about falling, which has usually been expressed through skating, surfing, skiing or skate boarding. But in Barbier’s universe, by the means of what he calls a “wetting agent”, sliding essentially refers to the aesthetics of gesticulation, where the combination of movements proves more important than the gesture, where trajectories are a breaking point, where the very notion of a straight line becomes incongruous. The Skating Rink establishes the notion that movement, as closely linked as it may be to everyday life, is sooner found in the chaos of a fall than in he fluidity of a walk, or even of a gait.

Gilles Barbier is represented by Galerie Georges-Philippe et Nathalie Vallois (Paris).

A series of texts by the artist will be published by the JRP/Ringier editions (HAPAX collection).


A progressive sculpture based on the autocompression of a car over several weeks. A production of Le Fresnoy – national Studio of contemporary arts and Villa Arson.

Open every day from 2:00 to 6:00 pm (from 2:00 to 7:00 pm in Jully and August), cloded on tuesday. Free admission.

Villa Arson regroups a national art school, a contemporary art centre, residencies for artists and an art library.

Press contact : communication [​at​] villa-arson.org / +33 (0)4 92 07 73 91

VILLA ARSON National contemporary art centre, NICE (France)

Villa Arson
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