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Cyprien Gaillard: Disquieting Landscapes


Cyprien Gaillard, Cairns (251/261 Résidence Provence, Dammarie lès Lys, 1973-2008), 2008
Cyprien Gaillard: Disquieting Landscapes
Jan 30, 2010–Apr 11, 2010
Intriguing young French artist Cyprien Gaillard asks viewers to confront the many contradictions of our built environments in his seductive and haunting films and photographs.

Gaillard (b. 1980 in Paris), who lives and works in Berlin, is fascinated by the strangeness of our contemporary landscapes, and the way we interact with them propels his work. Skateboarding and graffiti in neglected urban spaces such as corporate plazas and train tunnels led him to question conventional views of landscape. One recurring motif in his work has been the modernist tower block. Following the postwar building boom, the utopian ideals associated with modern architecture in the early 20th century gave way to disenchantment. Huge housing complexes once seen as beacons of progress have turned into disreputable ruins, and some have been purposely dismantled in spectacularly staged demolitions. Such structures and their surrounding landscapes often form the backdrop for unusual encounters in his work.

In Disquieting Landscapes, organized by Senior Curator of Exhibitions Catharina Manchanda, you will see photographs and film/video works made in the last five years that swerve between documentary observation and extraordinary theatricality. Gaillard compresses the distant and recent past with the present as he seeks to create visual or associative connections between ancient monuments and contemporary buildings (and the aesthetic spaces they define). Gaillard reimagines such buildings as monuments, stage sets, and sculptures—and sometimes pictures their transformation into ruins. Where others might simply see eyesores, he finds a patchwork of competing visions and desires that can give rise to new possibilities.

This exhibition was organized by the Wexner Center.

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Keep reading for complete image captions. Complete Image Captions

1. Cairns (12 Riverford Road, Pollokshaws, Glasgow, 1967-2008), 2008
C-print mounted to diasec
66 7/8 x 83 1/8 inches
Courtesy of Laura Bartlett Gallery, London

2. Cairns (131 Allan Street, Dalmarnock, Glasgow, 1965-2007), 2007
C-print mounted to diasec
66 7/8 x 83 1/8 inches
Courtesy of Laura Bartlett Gallery, London

3. Cairns (251/261 Résidence Provence, Dammarie lès Lys, 1973-2008), 2008
C-print mounted on diasec
66 7/8 x 83 1/8 inches
Courtesy of Bugada & Cargnel, Paris

4. View over Sighthill Cemetery, 2008
C-print mounted to diasec
83 1/8 x 66 7/8 inches
Courtesy of Laura Bartlett Gallery, London
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