22nd November 2008 – 25th January 2009
The Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen looks forward to hosting the first solo exhibition of Loris Gréaud (*1979, lives in Paris) in Switzerland. In his art work extremes and fetishes converge: Oversized, techno-pop, lucid, pyromaniac, black, structural, active, electronic, geometric, expressive and superficial elements. Gréaud has made a name for himself with his works, which are often installation-based and full of poetry. They refer to the visual language of endless possibility and the limits of reality. Certain materials such as neon tubes, as well as floorings and linings with graphical patterns, keep remerging within the artist’s oeuvre but are completely reinterpreted by the conceptual artist. He also employs unusual mediums such as fragrance to extract experience or the imaginings of an experience from his audience, even film and sound works are transformed into gripping multimedia translations.
Gréaud manages to create a concentration of a spectacular and likewise subtle atmosphere in his exhibitions. The visitor follows the dramaturgy established by the artist and experiences the emotionally and narratively charged rooms. The show «Cellar Door – Never Shies Away from Adopting Bootleg Versions of itself into its Family» in the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen confronts the audience with Gréaud's new project. It offers an insight into the artist's latest production and deals with the role that media, art criticism and institutions play in an artist’s career. In fact, the artist prefers that commentary of the work actually enhances the work and becomes part of the work itself.
For the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Loris Gréaud will implement a site-specific project that fills all the rooms of the institution and makes reference to the art review and media coverage provoked by his solo project «Cellar Door» that took place in the Palais de Tokyo in Paris from 14th February to 27th April 2008 and the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London from 25th April – 22ndJune 2008. With «Cellar Door», the artist designed a huge and fantastic production site, which corresponds to his concept of an ideal studio. It is currently being built in a Parisian suburb. In terms of receipt, the exhibition brought forth a veritable avalanche of media coverage, from the uninformed and obvious one-liners in tabloid magazines to the reviews in respectable newspapers. In Sankt Gallen a sequel to his «Cellar Door» cycle will take place. It may be considered an offering that seeks to criticize the systematic popularization of contemporary art and the cult status of the artist related to it. The spectator may wander through confetti rain, which will be volley by confetti cannons in the room. The cannon fodder consists of all published press articles that reviewed Gréaud's exhibition in the Palais de Tokyo Paris and the ICA London.
A radio antenna will function both as a sculpture and as a transmitter of a radio review of Loris Gréaud's exhibition, originally broadcasted by France Culture in «Tout arrive» on 22nd February 2008. Three different critics express negative and positive opinions about his work. Yet nothing is audible, for the 30-minute radio feature has been translated by deaf and mute people into sign language prior to the exhibition. Here, Gréaud again appropriates art reviews by quieting the critics’ voices and not making them audible to an audience. At the same time he seeks to encourage the spectators to come up with their own criticism. The silent radio emission will radiate 150 km from inside the Kunst Halle, an undetectable presence that is nonetheless distinctly present, and a reality for the museum that the artist compares to being haunted.
In addition, Gréaud will not only metaphorically shake the static’s of the Kunst Halle: That is, the walls and pillars are equipped with an electronic vibration system, so that the entire structure of the building will be shaken with measurable vibrations. The strength of the oscillations is determined by an electroencephalogram, which shows the artist's brain waves that were measured while he reflected on the project «Cellar Door». His thoughts are being materialized and can be physically perceived within the room. Hence the artist is being represented as the driving force that – as a symbol for the art system – might lead to the collapse of the Kunst Halle.
About the artist:
Loris Gréaud studied at the Conservatoire de Musique in Paris at the beginning of the nineties. He abandoned his musical studies and made an on-the-spot decision to create his own music label, «Sibilance Production», for electronic music. Later on, he finished his studies at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts de Paris-Cergy. Together with architects Marc Dölger and Damien Ziakovic, Gréaud worked as part of an interdisciplinary team called «DGZ». They developed utopian projects such as air architecture, the invisible sculpture, black champagne and flavourless sweets. The artist was featured in several exhibitions: Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2008; CCA Wattis, San Francisco, 2008; ICA, London, 2008; Barbican Center, 2008; Yvon Lambert, Paris, 2007; Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland, 2007.
«Cellar Door – Never Shies Away from Adopting Bootleg Versions of itself into its Family» is supported by Culturesfrance and Elektro-Tanner AG, St. Gallen.