Loris Gréaud: Ladi Rogeurs Sir Loudrage Glorius Read
22 x 30 cm
77 color illustrations
The young French conceptual artist Loris Gréaud (born 1979) transforms exhibition spaces into opulent stages: vivid walk-in settings where materials full of history and narrative sculptural constellations converge. Starting at Max Hetzler in Paris and then shifting like a cinematic cross-fade to the gallery’s Berlin venue, Gréaud blurs the boundaries between reality and mythical fiction in a diffuse violet light from which the sculptures emerge: electrified spores hanging from the ceiling; ceramics violently modeled with plastic explosives; pits in the gallery floor filled with rubble from the set of Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker; and a complex object shaped like a tree whose branches seem to be flailing under lightning strokes – a strange landscape constructed from dead objects as a contemporary form of vanitas. The book guides us through Loris Gréaud’s magnificent tableaux in a series of installation views and closer shots of the works accompanied by explanatory texts. QR codes link to exhibition trailers and videos of the pieces in action, including a third stage at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, with a text by its director Fabrice Hergott introducing us to an artistic universe full of dark beauty.
Gréaud’s oeuvre is a life-work, but not that of the artist’s life – a possessive that makes no sense in his output. It is the life that he observes, reproduces and replays in his interventions. the life of life, as it were – and on a huge time scale: the time of life’s appearance and disappearance. Here the artist and spectator are protocols of perception and production, temporary and fragile in this flux moving from past to future, a flux that the oeuvre seeks to record with obsessive and imaginative precision. If one had to define Gréaud’s subject, it would be that most enigmatic narrative, the history of the human being in the broadest sense: humanity with everything that it perceives, learns, knows and undertakes, with all its knowledge and memories. But a humanity conscious of the threats it faces, first and foremost the threat represented by its own species…
Only very recently has modern humanity understood that its coming was as late as the planet is fragile – and that everything could disappear. And though it might seem unconnected, the timing of this new awareness coincided with humanity’s capacity to self-destruct. It is as if knowing a thing must inevitably be accompanied by the need to realize and indeed anticipate it. Discovering its fragility, humanity invented the atomic bomb and, with it, the possibility of ending its own existence, along with that of all living species and of the planet itself – even before the next asteroid darkens the horizon. This may have occurred through a sort of promethean megalomania, a sullen desire to master the means of humanity’s own destruction, since destruction there will inevitably be.
Everything becomes precarious. Happiness and pleasure are no longer the same substance. Unhappiness itself is different. A tree is a miracle, nature a succession of wonders. But nature is disappearing, seemingly abandoning the sinking ship, encouraged by a human species fascinated with its own power, a power associated with destruction. Gréaud reconstructs the real in the light of this new perspective. Life becomes an anxious universe full of dark beauty, in which high technology coexists with the most elementary forms. The history of mankind is integrated with that of life, computer science with biology, in a reality that pertains as much to pre-history as to science fiction. Time itself is no longer the same. a living organism, the blob, which develops under the effect of heat and humidity, is a metaphor of all life on earth. Gréaud’s works and installations are a huge apparatus recording this vision.