French Conceptual Artist Loris Gréaud's Fantastic Visions

Loris Gréaud, Cellar Door (Once is Always Twice), 2008, installation view (courtesy of the artist and Yvon Lambert) The 33 year old French Conceptual Artist Loris Gréaud’ is represents the new fantastic wing of contemporary Conceptual Art in that he is positioned to realize phenomenal ideas into actual objects of art. He works with a team of scientists, artists, engineers and musicians to produce his startling work. He is among the leaders of the new bloodline of Paris-based artists who are laying groundwork for the new art in 21st century Paris. And for this he is being rewarded by being the first artist ever to have joint exhibitions at the Center Pompidou and at the Louvre in 2013. His work is far afield from that of 1970’s Minimalism conceptual practices of Sol Lewitt, Douglas Huebler, for example. His work is not about critique and is not text or instruction based. There are audio components to his practice and he also creates experimental music. His work is about seeing into the world by creating an imaginary object, room or spacial environment, then filling them with even more strange elements to construct his alternative vision of the world. He is also currently at work on an experimental film with American film giant David Lynch. (Vincent Johnson)

Txt: Mattia Casalegno / Img: Courtesy of Loris Grèaud

“A candy with no taste, a fiction without images, a solo without guitar, a movie screen that goes blank as you get close to it. Loris Gréaud’s work is a captivating voyage in a world of reversed perceptions, where it’s possible to hear a color, see a sound, realize a score as an architecture and an architecture as music.

This eclectic and prolific artist engages with all kinds of media while maintaining a linear and coherent aesthetic trajectory. The multimedia project Cellar-Door, a fiction having the artist’s own studio as its main character, and consisting of a performance, a series of installations, a concert and a musical score, has been shown at the Palais de Tokio in 2008. Since then his productions have followed increasingly striking and extraordinary directions.

In 2004 he established the research studio DGZ (Dölger, Greaud, Ziakovic), in partnership with a designer and an architect, with the declared mission to ”cancel borders between disciplines.” Such interdisciplinarity is borne from the impromptu of his aesthetics, often inspired by scientific discourse. His last DGZ project, “Why is a Raven Like a Writing Desk” – from the famous Alice in Wonderland quote – is an actual nano-sculpture co-produced with the CNRS (Centre National Recherche Scientifique) and was shown at Frieze Fair in 2006.”

Loris Gréaud: Cellar Door (Once is Always Twice)

From the Telegraph, London:
 Cellar Door by Loris Gréaud takes the form of three identical rooms installed at the ICA, separated by high-speed automatic doors.

The design of the carpet covering the floor is based on the coordinates of the stars, and there is a wall-mounted text piece in mirrored lettering which reads, ‘When people tell me that I know how this story is going to end I usually tell them: wait till the end and you will see yourself…’

  • Photos by Steve White

Here a visitor’s Akimbo blog report (Charlene K. Lau is a London-based writer, artist and idea-maker) to the installations:“Last up in this installment is Loris Gréaud‘s Cellar Door (Once is Always Twice) at the ICA. Having only previously encountered Gréaud’s work via his tasteless (as in without flavour) candy Celador, I had no idea what to expect. This exhibition is comprised of three almost identical rooms and involves an immersive environment of image, sound, text, and performance. Each room has black painted walls and is carpeted in a black and white modular pattern derived in part from Buckminster Fuller’s experiments with the geodesic dome. A mirrored text – “When people tell me that I don’t know how I am going to finish this story, I usually tell them: wait till the end and you will see yourself” – hangs in each room, along with a black vinyl wall drawing. In the middle of each room is a cluster of specially designed light-emitting speakers. They resemble human heads, with black paint dripping down from the tops like hair, pooling on the floor below. As an opera plays, the lights pulsate along with it. When I entered the first room, an automatic door clamped shut behind me. I instantly felt trapped. It’s all very claustrophobic with the blackness, geometric carpet, and daunting opera. I passed from room to room, wondering if the doors will stop working at some point and imprison me in this personal hell. It’s romantic, yet macabre, melodramatic, and glossy, but not overdone. Each component in the environment is a stand-alone piece: the opera, the adhesive vinyl, the door, the light speakers, the mirror text, and the carpet. They are individual experiments with different outcomes. This is Gréaud, a multi-disciplinarian at his best.”

In this work Greaud constructs a Dan Flavin like neon wall band, but inside the space are wavering, seemingly melting posts in the Surrealist manner. One is struck by the counter-positioning of these disparate elements, losing ones sense of internal balance.

Loris Gréaud: Cross Filtration
by Jens Hoffmann

Loris Gréaud belongs to a young generation of French artists, which has emerged over the last few years. His practice, however, is distinct from that of most of his contemporaries and is not what one would expect to see, hear and feel in an art gallery. Fluctuating between the fields of film, sound and installation, Gréaud was trained in a variety of disciplines while attending the famous Conservertoire de Musique in Paris from which he got expelled after setting up a recording studio: “A studio to stop music.”as the artist once stated. It was here where the artist also launched his own music label, Sibilance Production for the production and distribution of electronic music. Prior to his studies at the conservatory, where he was training to play the flute, Gréaud’s studies included filmmaking and some semesters of graphic design before he finally arrived at the Ecole des Beaux-arts de Paris Cergy.Gréaud’s most prominent exhibition to date, Silence Goes More Quickly When Played Backwards, took place earlier this year at Le Plateau in Paris. The show included 14 works all made between 2001 and 2005, of which Eye of the Duck (2005) was the most complex and engaging. This piece was a habitation specifically created for a duck; this modern-looking, designed structure, imitating a space ship, consisted of a basin equipped with a pump, a filter, and a special niche for the animal. During previous installations, the piece housed a real, live duck.  At certain moments, a text about ducks by US filmmaker David Lynch was heard in the gallery. The disparity between the intricately designed structure, the materials used, and the duck itself made more notably peculiar the spoken words of Lynch.As with this piece and many others, Gréaud is interested in working with other people to realize his pieces. While the artist has worked with scientists, engineers, designers, filmmakers and musicians he is very clear about the fact that he sees those relationships not as collaborations but rather as a form of co-authorship and cross filtration.

Loris Gréaud, A world of absolute relativity, 2012 (La Décadence, Galerie Yvon Lambert, Paris 3e, du 27 janvier au 25 février 2012) Loris Gréaud, The Bragdon Pavilion The Bragdon Pavilion

The whale is life0-sized. The visitor is requested to stay overnght in the belly of the beast to contemplate the great stories of being devoured by such a creature.

“Loris Gréaud’s sculpture of a big whale Geppetto Pavilion is installed in sand at the Arsenale. Taking his inspiration from Moby Dick and the story of Jonah, Gréaud’s 55 foot fibreglass sperm whale wants the the viewer to imagine being swallowed whole, and confined to a life in the belly of the whale…”

Cellar Door

 Loris Gréaud Cellar Door

Edited by Loris Gréaud.
Texts by Raimundas Malasauskas, Thomas Roussel, Aaron Schuster. 
“Cellar Door” is a spectacle stretching in time and space. As an exhibition, it is the so far most ambitious project of French artist Loris Gréaud, starting at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and continuing at the ICA London, conceived as musical in progress. As a book, it includes the project’s synopsis and musical scores, thus serving as the libretto of this opera of a new genre. //

Loris Gréaud is a cross-disciplinary artist, an enthusiast of architecture and quantum mechanics, a graduate with a degree in graphic arts, a former student of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts de Cergy, the founder of a studio for experimental film, a producer at an electronic music label, and director of his own business. Not surprisingly, Gréaud has blazed a career path that is in keeping with his art practice. Borrowing from the working procedures of a film director or orchestra conductor, he builds empirical machines in which the medium systematically follows the ideas, which are themselves exchanged, shared, negotiated and distorted. In 2004, with the architects Marc Dölger and Damien Ziakovic, he created DGZ Research, a multidisciplinary production studio that makes the realization of “utopian” projects possible. DGZ Research is in charge of the design, architecture and project management of the Cellar Door exhibition.
“Cellar Door” is a spectacle stretching in time and space. As an exhibition, it is the so far most ambitious project of French artist Loris Gréaud, starting at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and continuing at the ICA London, conceived as musical in progress. As a book, it includes the project’s synopsis and musical scores, thus serving as the libretto of this opera of a new genre.

Forest of Gunpowder Trees Cellar Door exhibit at the Palais de Tokyo. “The concept for the show was that the entire space would be re-imagined as a sort of 3-D map of the artist’s brain. To me, the experience was most like waking up in an obscure avant-garde art film featuring a lot of surrealist dream imagery — see, for example, those bare trees lit by a glowing red orb.” Map “This is a mini-map of the mind map. #8, the spectacle of a sculpture, consisted of some people in a cage shooting paintball guns at each other. #1 was a neon sculpture representing the balled-up blueprints of the Palais de Tokyo. #5 was an empty movie theater playing blurry abstractions. And my personal favorite was #9:” Celador, the candy with a taste of illusion “Celador: the candy with the taste of illusion. (“A candy whose indeterminate taste appeals to the consumer’s imagination. On sale in supermarkets, using the conventions of mass marketing. Celador is a contamination of reality.”)”

Vincent Johnson is an artist and writer in Los Angeles
Vincent Johnson’s Nine Grayscale Paintings – installation shot – 2
Vincent Johnson’s Nine Grayscale Paintings – studio shot – 1 (Silver hand)
Vincent Johnson received his MFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California 1997 and his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Painting 1986. He started out as a student in Pratt’s painting department. He is a 2005 Creative Capital Grantee, and was nominated for the Baum: An Emerging American Photographer’s Award in 2004 and for the New Museum of Contemporary Arts Aldrich Art Award in 2007 and for the Art Matters grant in 2008, and in 2009 nominated for Foundation for Contemporary Art Fellowship, Los Angeles. In 2010 he was named a United States Artists project artist. His work has been reviewed in ArtForum, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, Art in America, Art Slant and many other publications. His photographic works were most recently shown in the inaugural Pulse Fair Los Angeles. His most recent paintings were shown at the Beacon Arts Center in Los Angeles.
Vincent Johnson – in my studio working on my Nine Grayscale Paintings

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