June 12, 2008 - Musée départemental d’art contemporain de Rochechouart - Laurent Grasso
June 12, 2008

Laurent Grasso

Laurent Grasso
Project 4 Brane at Rochechouart castle
collection Frac Ile de France

Laurent Grasso:

14th of june – 22 of september 2008

10am – 12.30am/13.30pm – 18pm
everyday except Tuesday


Laurent Grasso, for his exhibition at Rochechouart Museum of Contemporary Art, has converted the museum’s impressive 17th century wood-beamed roof-space on the top floor of the castle into a landscape machine. It is here he has chosen to install Project 4 Brane, a steel and glass module that conceals a projection room of uncertain transparency. Its title refers to the branes or multiple dimensions envisaged in “superstring theory” to provide a unified vision of the universe, linking quantum mechanics with general relativity.

Like an inverted ship’s hull, the castle roof-space amplifies the signs of several other works that Laurent Grasso collectively calls his “Neurocinema”. Conjuring up images of some form of futurist cybernetic entertainment, in reality the name pinpoints neuronal mechanisms that underlie all forms of cinematographic expression, from creating the illusion of movement to the manipulative art of editing. Our attention is drawn to the extent moving images have fashioned perception of contemporary reality over the past century and, to this end, the works evoke or re-examine different analogical techniques used to record and reconstitute the world we see around us. One significant recording technique was the camera obscura, a direct forerunner of cameras. Here it takes the form of a darkened room visitors can enter and witness a fluctuating vision of landscape seen from the vantage point of Rochechouart castle. The image is accompanied by real-time and recorded sounds of crows as they wheel above the castle roofs. Landscape elements outside the castle are therefore guided analogically into the museum space, and faced with this illusion, the onlooker is able to suspend disbelief and attain a state of false innocence.

Principles of copying and tapping into the ambient landscape have been developing in Laurent Grasso’s work over the past ten years. This is illustrated for example by connections between his very recent 320 (a scale-model radome listening device like those used by the Americans in their global spy network codenamed Echelon) and an earlier video, Tout est possible (Everything’s Possible) in which we overhear the inner thoughts of a man walking through the streets of Marrakesh, dangerously leading viewers down the paths of his private madness. Similarly, in Radio Ghost, aerial views of Hong Kong are combined with a soundtrack of the disembodied voices of Asian film stars.

Located at 40 km from Limoges, and 30 km from Limoges’s airport, the Rochechouart Castle is perched dramatically on a rocky outcrop. Most of the castle date dates from the 15th century with an inner courtyard and elegant Renaissance gallery with frescoes from the 16th century. In 1985, Haute-Vienne Council established the Museum of contemporary art within its walls. The museum has an exceptional collection of artworks by artists such as Gerhard Richter, Luciano Fabro, Ugo Rondinone, Steve McQueen, Thierry Kuntzel… It includes also the Raoul Hausmann funds, dedicated to the famous dadaist who spent the last 20 years of his life in Limoges.

Born in 1972, Laurent Grasso studied at the Ensba (Paris), the Cooper Union School (New York), Central Saint Martins College (London) and Le Fresnoy (Tourcoing)

He was an artist in residence at the Villa Medicis (Roma) and ISCP (New York).

One of the four nominees for the Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2008, he will be this year in a solo exhibition at Prefix (Toronto). His next group shows include: Antidote (Galerie des Galeries in Galeries Lafayette, Paris), To: night (Hunter College, New York and Maternités cosmiques (Tenerife Museum, Tenerife).

His solo exhibitions include Neurocinema at the Akbank Sanat (Istanbul, 2008), Time Dust (Galerie Chez Valentin,Paris, 2008), In Parallelen Welten (Siegen Museum, 2008), Electric Palace (Studio 814, New York, 2007), Magnetic Palace (IAC, Villeurbanne, 2007), Paracinema (Espace Paul Ricard, Paris, 2006), and Radio Ghost (CREDAC, Ivry sur Seine, 2004).

His group exhibitions include Phantasmagoria Specter of Absence (Banco de la Républica Louis Angel Arango Library, Bogota ; Contemporary Museum, Honolulu ;Mc Coll Center for Visual Art, Charlotte; The John and Marble Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota ; University of Southern California Fisher Gallery, Los Angeles, 2007-2008), Fiction vs Réalité (Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisboa, 2007), Biennale de Lyon 2007, Building the World (MARCO, Monterrey, 2006), Busan Biennale 2006, From There (Bloomberg Space, London, 2006), Notre Histoir ( Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2006), Satellite of Love (Witte de With, Rotterdam, 2006) and Radio Days (De Appel Fundation, Amsterdam, 2005), OK / OKAY (Swiss Institute, New York, 2005).

The Musée départemental d’art contemporain de Rochechouart is an initiative of the Conseil général de la Haute-Vienne.This exhibition was made possible through the support of the Minister of Culture
(DRAC Limousin)

Musée départemental d’art contemporain de Rochechouart
Place du Château
87600 Rochechouart
tel. +33 5 55 03 77 77
fax. +33 5 55 03 72 40

Musée départemental d’art contemporain de Rochechouart

Musée départemental d’art contemporain de Rochechouart
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