Magnetic Palace and SoLongSolSoLong

Magnetic Palace and SoLongSolSoLong

Institut d'art contemporain, Villeurbanne/Rhône-Alpes

July 13, 2007

Laurent Grasso - Magnetic Palace
Joe Scanlan - SoLongSolSoLong

Exhibitions from 21 June to 19 August 2007

Curator: Nathalie Ergino
Institut d’art contemporain
11 rue Docteur Dolard
69100 Villeurbanne
T 00 33 (0) 4 78 03 47 00
F 00 33 (0) 4 78 03 47 09


LAURENT GRASSO Magnetic Palace

The Institut d’art contemporain presents an important solo exhibition of the work of Laurent Grasso, centred on new projects.

A French artist born in 1972, Laurent Grasso lives and works in Paris. He has had several solo shows in the past ten years (Visual Art Center, Cambridge, USA, 2006; Galerie Extraspazio, Rome, De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam, 2005; Galerie Agnès b., Hong Kong, 2004) and has participated in numerous joint exhibitions (Le Plateau/Frac Ile-de-France, Nuit Blanche, Paris, Notre histoire, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Satellite of love, Witte de With, Rotterdam, 2006; Subréel, [mac] musée d’art contemporain, Marseille, 2002).

At the Institut d’art contemporain, Laurent Grasso uses the entire exhibition space as a support for experiments using electromagnetic phenomena such as the aurora borealis and electric arcs. In most of his works, Laurent Grasso seeks to create tension between reality and fiction, between conscious and the unconscious. He makes audiovisual devices with image projection techniques and different electrical and electronic materials to fix–in hypnotic mode–perceptive experiences and mental images. The moving image is used with the artist focusing closely on its floating status and interferences between external reality and psychic state, between the sensorial and the irrational.

The artist explores the notion of ‘projection’ and vision’ in all their dimensions. The cinema and then paranormal phenomena are used as ‘means’ in the background; he draws on these domains that escape rational analysis to create real environmental set-ups. Laurent Grasso thus makes images and creates atmospheres that question our behaviour and that finally grasp the invisible or the disturbing strangeness of the world.

After a project completed in 2003 (Do It Yourself Dead On Arrival Pay For Your Pleasure (reprise)), the Institut d’art contemporain has invited Joe Scanlan again for a solo show of recent works.

Born in 1961 in Stoutsville (Ohio, USA) and a graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago (1985), Joe Scanlan lives and works in New York. An artist with an international reputation, Joe Scanlan has had many solo exhibitions (Galerie Chez Valentin, Paris, 2007; Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerp, 2005; IKON Gallery, Birmingham, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 2003; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 1998) and group shows (Museo Patio Herreriano, Valladolid, 2007; Kunstmuseum Bern, Bern, Mudam, Luxembourg, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 2006; Baltic Art Center, Vilnius, 2005).

The exhibition designed by the artist for the Institut d’art contemporain is a specific project paying a tribute to Sol LeWitt after the death of this great exponent of minimal art. Joe Scanlan uses his own vocabulary to address the relation between his work and Sol LeWitt and minimalism.

Joe Scanlan became known in the 1990s via his very special appropriation of conceptual art. Preoccupied by the production of objects that seem to be related to everyday life and by affirming a micro-economy–by way of recycling, or do-it-yourself and crafts–he aims at creative subjectivity that can gain a position in the capitalist economic universe. In addition to the fact that it combines functionality and plastic specificity, his DIY aesthetics favours objects that are mobile, adaptable or even reversible according to context and use.

The artist’s research in recent years seen in sculptures and drawings centred on certain seasonal processes–such as the formation of snowflakes (Snowflake drawings) and reconstituted forsythia–reveal his constant reflection on transient and ephemeral states. This poetic dimension is tending to gain increasing importance in Joe Scanlan’s work and is always combined with a notion of critical spirit and independence.

Institut d'art Contemporain

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Institut d'art contemporain, Villeurbanne/Rhône-Alpes
July 13, 2007

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