Paroxysm of Sublime
September 18 - November 3
Image Credit: Carmen Argote, Marks from Birth, 2018
Paroxysm of Sublime
Curated by Anna Milone, FLAX Program Director and Curator and Ana Iwataki, Associate Curator
Opening Reception September 18, 7-10 PM
Exhibition Dates September 18, 2019 to November 3, 2019
Artists: Eddie Aparicio, Carmen Argote, Beatriz Cortez, Sara Favriau, Etienne de France, David Horvitz, Iris Yirei Hu, Candice Lin, Laura Huertas Millán, Hannah Mjølsnes and Eric Kim, Eva Nielsen, Hubert Robert, Smith and Daniel Otero Torres.
Exhibition in partnership with France Los Angeles Exchange (FLAX)
A RUSH OF STORIES| Exhibition programming
Screening – Oct 8, 7:30 pm
Donna Haraway: Story Telling for Earthly Survival by Fabrizio Terranova (2016)
Artist Talk – Oct 22, 7:30 pm
Beatriz Cortez: A Dialogue of Nomads
A conversation between Brown border-crossers and dead French philosophers
Closing – Nov 3, 3 pm
Tea ceremony by Nine Charm Herbs followed by a meditative walk to Highland Park with David Horvitz
There is a clear sense of urgency that is both rising and collective. It seems to be a matter of dis-ease, as philosopher Glenn Albrecht puts it. His diagnosis for our times is that of solastalgia—an illness at once psycho and somatic—affecting humanity at large, caused by a changing, once-familiar environment, whose fate seems beyond our control. Home becomes first uncanny, then hostile, like a nightmare in which one’s mother morphs into a stranger, then an enemy.
The title of this exhibition, quoting a poem by sculptor Sara Favriau, emphasizes the unfolding of changes, leading to a paroxysm often followed by a drastic transformation. Directly referencing the overwhelmingness of the sublime as defined by Kant, the exhibition draws from the history and present of philosophy. To take on the concept of solastalgia, we need to question our definitions of “home” and “environment”. The notion of environment can also denote some kind of separation, the control and domination of mankind over its habitat. In Los Angeles, the majority of the city’s plant life was brought by settlers to “imparadise” the land and recreate familiar environments, or otherwise introduced to the region to reflect, instill, and develop desire and fantasy, dramatically changing the ecosystem and shaping its visual identity. Solastalgia is a feeling of homesickness while being at home, in a ”natural” environment constructed by human presence, perpetually in rapid transformation. This dystopian element of the city points to the question of colonization by nature, all the more insidious for its “natural” disguise.
This exhibition brings together reflections on our shared pathology and pathos. If a sense of dread, fear, and grief is palpable, then so is the desire to act. These reactions are brought into the light, so that we might collectively face what we must collectively correct. In catastrophe, affect becomes not an ending, but a hinge to incite evolution in our relationship to the environment, to loss, and the passing of time, sometimes romanticized or fantasized. The blending of timelines and cartographies works towards a more nuanced view of past, present, and impending change, to ritual and symbiosis as methods of healing. This confluence of time and space encourages the reconsideration of other paradigms — nature/culture, pre/post apocalypse, native/foreign.
The exhibition will examine the effects of solastalgia, its relationship with the history of Western philosophy, its broader significance in multiple temporalities and geographies, and a search for remedies outside of a Western paradigm. Doing so requires various voices, “a rush of stories”, to quote Anna Tsing: “To listen and to tell a rush of stories is a method. And why not make the strong claim and call it a science, an addition to knowledge? Its research object is contaminated diversity; its unit of analysis is the indeterminate encounter (…) A rush of stories cannot be neatly summed up. Its scales do not nest neatly; they draw attention to interrupting geographies and tempos. These interruptions elicit more stories. This is the rush of stories’ power as a science.”
A library will be composed of books, articles and tinctures by Candice Lin. The voices of the exhibition spring from these various texts which will be used to compose several readers, one for each event, in collaboration with the artists.
Eddie Aparicio’s recent work and research has focused on the various connections between Central America and Los Angeles. For Aparicio, focusing on multiple sites as a part of the same community and history is a crucial de-colonizing strategy and problematizes the term native. His work addresses immigration by default, pointing more towards the possibilities of an expanded understanding of identity and place making. Aparicio utilizes formal strategies within a primarily materialist practice because environmental justice is inextricably linked to social justice. In allowing material to be a collaborator in the works, he acknowledges it as a part of its own narrative.
For the exhibition, he has embarked on a new series of work stemming from his research on Victorian Wardian cases, an early kind of terrarium used to bring plant specimens back to Europe from colonial voyages. These glass cases allowed plants to survive the sea voyages by allowing for sunlight, providing moisture with condensation, while protecting them from other harsher elements. Wardian cases developed to be beautiful, decorative objects, particularly during the fern craze, but at sea were largely utilitarian and made from glass, wood, and canvas. Aparicio trains a critical eye on the Wardian case and its role as a vehicle of colonization. As a container for “invasive species”, the Wardian case evokes past and present forced removals and detention, rhetorics of contamination and exoticism.
Eddie Aparicio was born in Los Angeles in 1990. He received an MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University in 2016, a BA in Studio Arts from Bard College in 2012 and has also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and the Southern California Institute of Architecture. His recent works address the intersection of social and environmental justice through specific use of material, sound, and multiplicity of site. He uses materials that have a strong tie to pre-hispanic cultures in Central America to document Central American communities in Los Angeles. He has exhibited at Paramo Galeria, The Mistake Room, Steve Turner Gallery, Zona Maco, and Anonymous gallery among others. He has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Community Foundation.
Carmen Argote’s artistic practice is a response and conversation brought about through the process of inhabiting a space and responding to it. Her work is a direct result of the way in which her body and personal history can connect with the sites she engages with. For Argote, the effect of the architectures around her and their values are felt upon her body. As a multidisciplinary artist, Argote moves through materials and media. Enjoying the discourse and dwelling on the poetics of the queering of the everyday is what drives her visual explorations.
The work presented in the exhibition is a response to Bogota, where it was conceived and made. “It started with looking at the mapa topográfico. I became fascinated by the object because it was a translation of the landscape in relationship to scale and to the body. It allowed me to understand Bogota through a translation, giving me a little distance from the constant proximity of the mountain. I found it through the act of walking. I was inclined to work with natural materials because of the tension I felt between the mountain and the architecture of the city. I wanted a way to access nature through human translation. I was responding to a human processing of nature. Color extraction became the visual representation of that translation. A photograph is a process of abstracting light, time, and dimensionality. The photograph of the mapa topográfico revert the map making it more real/ closer to the landscape again.”
Carmen Argote (b. 1981, Guadalajara, Mexico) works in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. She received her BA, in 2004, and MFA, in 2007, from University of California, Los Angeles. Her work has been exhibited at various institutions, including Ballon Rouge Collective, New York (2018); 18th Street Arts Center Artist Lab, Santa Monica (2018); Ballroom Marfa, Texas (2017); Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2017); Denver Art Museum (2017); Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California (2017); National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago (2015); MAK Center, Los Angeles (2015); and Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles (2013). She is a recipient of the Artadia Los Angeles Award (2019), the Nancy Graves Foundation Artist Grant (2018), the Rema Hort Mann Foundation YoYoYo Grant (2015) and California Community Foundation Emerging Artist Grant (2013).
Carmen Argote is represented by Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles and Instituto de Vision, Bogota
Beatriz Cortez is a Los Angeles-based artist and scholar. She was born in El Salvador and has lived in the United States since 1989. Her work explores simultaneity, life in different temporalities and different versions of modernity, particularly in relation to memory and loss in the aftermath of war and the experience of migration, and in relation to imagining possible futures.
Our Roots / Nuestras raíces (2014-2019) enables the presence of the subterranean world to interact with the world we inhabit, on the surface of the Earth. Engaging with the idea that Indigenous peoples are often called our roots / nuestras raíces, in a gesture that pushes their existence towards the past and that erases them from the present and the future, this installation invites us to ponder the life that multiplies under the ground, the rhizomatic quality of roots, the great diversity of plants, their ability to transform remnants of other lives into nutrients and new life, and the existence of worlds that are beyond the human realm.
Cortez has exhibited her work nationally in Los Angeles; San Francisco; Marfa, Texas; Washington, D.C.; New York; Minneapolis; Miami; and Sheboygan, Wisconsin; and internationally in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia, and China. She has received the 2019 Emergency Grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the 2018 Rema Hort Mann Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artists, the 2017 Artist Community Engagement Grant, and the 2016 California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists. She holds an MFA in Art from the California Institute of the Arts, and Ph.D. in Latin American literature from Arizona State University. She teaches in the Department of Central American Studies at California State University, Northridge.
Sara Favriau delves into ancient and current practices. Using a palimpsest, a manuscript on which the writing superimposed on previously erased text, she blends classical and contemporary techniques. Her research is a poetic reflection on historic mechanisms. She gathers materials, often industrial, and transforms their original functions, setting them free from traditional paths, giving them a simpler form. From this synthesis, the possibility of a story is born.
The installation presented in the exhibition was inspired by Sara Favriau’s residency with FLAX in 2018. Reflecting on imported wood essences in California and how they impacted the ecosystem of Los Angeles, she explores the vital force of tree trunks and branches through sculptural work, while also revealing their vulnerability. The very center of the trunks appears like subtle layers of wood, a technique she developed to produce both small and monumental sculptures.
Sara Favriau (b. 1983, France) graduated from Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Paris in 2007. In 2014, she was awarded the best installation prize at YIA#4 Art Fair in Paris and won the Palais de Tokyo “Discovery Prize.” In 2016, she had a solo exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris. In 2017, she presented a solo show at Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire (FR), Independent Brussels and was a resident at CNEAI. In 2018, she attended the first Bangkok Biennale Beyond Bliss as a guest of honor. Favriau’s work is found in public collections such as FMAC (Paris civic collection), FDAC Essonne, and MAC VAL.
Sara Favriau is represented by Galerie Florent Maubert, Paris.
Etienne de France. Unfolding his practice in multidisciplinary and fragmented ways, Etienne de France explores the relationships between concepts of nature and landscape. Through the fields of sciences and architecture, he creates works using a variety of media such as video, writing, photography, sculpture and drawing. From questioning landscape as a space of the imaginary and emancipation, he elaborates fictional but highly credible narrative series of works. From the first railway company in Iceland (Iceland Train, 2009-2010) to the rediscovery of a legendary sea mammal in Greenland (Tales of the Sea Cow, 2012), his works are always contextualized in a determined landscape, identified or not. He completed a 124-mile walk in the middle of the French countryside (Exploration of a Failure, 2013-2014). With his site-specific installations referring to the Mesoamerican ruins and models (Rise, 2013 and The Journey, 2015), his work is both an invitation to travel and to question our own environment.
The piece presented in the exhibition is the result of his residency with FLAX in 2017. Etienne de France collaborated with the Mohave tribe of the Colorado River Indian Tribes Reservation for the creation of his film and project Looking for the Perfect Landscape. The film examines the usage and representation of the territories of the Southwest through the eyes of Jamahke, a young Native American. Grounding his work in Mohave culture, this project is a collaboration with elders, cultural practitioners, artists, activists, environmentalists, and archeologists. The video project, its storyline, and its development is based on encounters and meetings between Etienne de France and the diverse participants he involves.
Etienne de France (b. 1984, Paris, France) just completed a new series The Green Vessel, multiple narrative including film and video, installation and drawing, a project developed through three residencies in Te Whare Hēra, New Zealand in 2016, International Center of Art and Landscape of Vassivière Island and in Flora Ars+Natura, Colombia in 2015. The film was premiered at FID Marseille in June 2019. Installations, videos and performances in museums and galleries include: Museu de Arte Brasileira, São Paulo, Brazil, 2017, International Center of Art and Landscape of Vassivière Island, France, 2016; Reykjavík Art Museum, Iceland, 2016; School of Architecture of Paris-La Villette, Paris, France, 2015; Gallery of Évolution, Museum of National History, FIAC, Paris, France, 2014; Domaine de Chamarande, France, 2013; Parco Arte Vivente, Torino, Italy, 2012; National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland, 2010; Thessaloniki Biennale, State Museum of Modern Art, 2010.
David Horvitz is a conceptual artist with a practice that spans diverse media and subject matter.
He participates in the dispersal of seeds, fruits, or other plants by wind, trade, and other means. He has donated plumeria cuttings from his grandmother’s tree to several art institutions around Los Angeles, including FLAX. The plant travels to each new exhibition site due to the itinerant nature of the FLAX Projects. The plumeria will be brought to LACE for the duration of the exhibition. For the closing party, a tea ceremony in collaboration with Nine Herbs Charm followed by a meditative walk will bring the plumeria to its final home where it will be planted in the ground.
David Horvitz (b. 1977, California) currently lives and works in Los Angeles. The founder of Galerie Morille in Los Angeles and Porcino Gallery in Berlin, he studied at the University of California, Riverside, and holds an MFA from Bard College. In 2019 Horvitz exhibited work in exhibitions at Scat The Bathhouse, Tokyo, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and La Criée centre d’art contemporain, Rennes. Horvitz is a recipient of the Henraux Foundation Sculpture Award (2018). Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include Für Ruth, der Himmel in Los Angeles, Albertinum, SDK, Dresden (2018); Yesterday, Yvon Lambert Librairie, Paris (2018); Água Viva, Belo Campo, Lisbon (2018); Eridanus, Galerie Allen, Paris (2017); Situation #20, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (2015); David Horvitz, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles (2014); Gnomons, New Museum, New York (2014); and POST, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (2013). His work has been included in group exhibitions at S.M.A.K, Ghent (2018); Château de Servières, Marseille (2018); The Mesdag Collection, The Hague (2018); HangarBicocca, Milan (2017); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2017); Museum für moderne Kunst, Weserburg (2017); La Criée centre for contemporary art, Rennes (2017); Knockdown Center, New York (2017); Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus (2016); Henry Art Gallery, Seattle (2016); Museum of Contemporary Art, Krakow, Poland (2016); Israel Museum, Jerusalem (2016); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2015); Glasgow International 2014, CCA, Glasgow (2014); Grimmuseum, Berlin (2014); and the Brooklyn Museum, New York (2014). His work has been reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, Art Agenda, Frieze, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Mousse, Monopol, CURA, American Photo, ATP Diary, Artzines, Kunstkritikk, Transparencies, and Rhizome.
David Horvitz is represented by ChertLüdde, Berlin.
iris yirei hu is an artist who works in painting, fibers, text, and installation. Her work is often collaborative, through which she makes kin with those that practice collaborative survival in wake of personal, historical, and environmental loss. She is interested in limning transgeographic intimacy through weaving and craft practices that are both thriving and threatened. Her work centers learning as a method of engagement, and is both research-based and dependent on lived experience.
Her work in the exhibition is part of her four-part series of installations based on allegorical survival guides. In an embroidery, hu records her mother’s answers to her inquiry of what they would need to take with them if the Sun devoured the Moon.
She is also working with LACE Exhibitions and Operations Manager Andrew Freire to conceive the library that will be a platform for various textual references and other objects for storing knowledge offered by the curators and artists. The materiality of the library is itself a partial archive of LACE’s exhibition history and will highlight the infrastructural support (in knowledge, labor and materials) that are required to realize an exhibition.
iris yirei hu (b. 1991, Los Angeles, CA) has shown her work at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (Sheboygan, WI), Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Women’s Center for Creative Work (Los Angeles), Human Resources (Los Angeles), Lenfest Center for the Arts (New York, NY), Commonwealth & Council (Los Angeles), and Visitor Welcome Center (Los Angeles). Her work has been reviewed and featured in the LA Times, Carla, CNN, Sinovision, KCET, X-TRA Online, and Artillery. She has been supported by the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship, Foundation for Contemporary Art, Rema Hort Mann Foundation, among others. She received a BA from UCLA and MFA from Columbia University.
Candice Lin is a Los Angeles-based artist working in large-scale installation. Lin draws from multiple disciplines to unearth largely forgotten or disregarded histories and to highlight practices that have been marginalized or discredited, including the legacies of colonization the attendant fictions relating to authenticity, purity, and birthright.
Her work in the exhibition, Meditations on Last Philosophy (in which the possibilities of a coevolutionary, spontaneously generated, parasitic future are demonstrated), is part of a larger body of work that retells marginalized stories from science in order to trouble its common categories along with other hegemonic categories, such as that of individualism, gender, and sexuality. This work also references the now obsolete theory of spontaneous generation, which takes its assertion that living organisms could be formed from dissimilar and inanimate matter, to move towards entangled and coevolutionary possibilities.
Candice Lin (b. 1979, Concord, Massachusetts) has exhibited at the ICA London (2019); Ballroom Marfa (2019); Weingart Gallery, Occidental College, Los Angeles (2019); the Hammer Museum’s biennial exhibition, Made in L.A. 2018; Portikus, Frankfurt (2018); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2017); Bétonsalon—Center for Art and Research, Paris (2017); Human Resources, Los Angeles (2017); New Museum, New York (2017); SculptureCenter, Long Island City, New York (2017); Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (2016); and Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles (2013), among others. She is the recipient of several residencies, grants, and fellowships, including the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award (2017), the Davidoff Art Residency (2018), Fine Arts Work Center Residency (2012), and Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (2009).
Candice Lin is represented by Francois Ghebaly Gallery.
Laura Huertas Millán is a French-Colombian filmmaker and artist. Her formally adventurous films fuse genres, proposing embodied cinematic experiences both contemplative and reflexive, where political history, ecology and the intimate spheres entwine.
In El Laberinto (The Labyrinth), Laura Huertas Millán continues an exploration of the heritage of experimental ethnography to explore colonial violence, the drug wars,,and resulting syncretic memory and ruin. The viewer is lead on a tour through a Colombian jungle to an exact replica of the villa from the ‘80s soap opera Dynasty built by a notorious drug lord, now in ruins. Scenes from the show are interspersed with this tour of the landmark, creating an enigmatic journey flitting between geographies and time periods.
In 2017 Laura Huertas Millán (b.1983, Colombia) completed a practice-based PhD at PSL University (SACRe program) on “ethnographic fictions”, a dual concept at the core of her film practice since 2009, and for which she also was affiliated to the Sensory Ethnography Lab (2014) and the Film Study Center (2014-2017) at Harvard University. Her works have been internationally screened in art and cinema venues such as the Centre Pompidou, Musée du Jeu de Paume, the Guggenheim Museum (NY), The Film Society of Lincoln Center, TIFF´s Lightbox, Palais de Tokyo, Les Laboratoires d´Aubervilliers, Museo de Arte de Medellin (MAMM Colombia) and Instituto de Visión, among others. Her films have been exhibited in film festivals including Toronto (Wavelenghts), FIDMarseille (Special Jury mention of the French competition, 2016), Doclisboa (Honourable mention of the international competition), Torino, FICUNAM, Curtas Vila do Conde, Videobrasil (Resartis Prize, 2013), Bienal de la Imagen en Movimiento (Special mention, Norberto Griffa Award), Fronteira Film Festival (Best short film prize) and Bogota´s Documentary Film Festival (MIDBO, Best film of the national competition prize). In 2017, she was a featured artist at the Flaherty Seminar; she was awarded the Grand Prix of the Biennale de la Jeune Création and the Hauts-de-Seine Prize at the Salon de Montrouge in France. Huertas Millán has received production fellowships from the Colombian Cinema Fund (Proimagenes FDC), France´s CNC, the city of Paris and numerous university fellowships (Harvard University, Beaux-Arts de Paris, EESI Poitiers-Angoulême).
Nine Herbs Charm is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary artist collective founded in 2016 consisting of core members Hannah Mjølsnes, Eric Kim, and Saewon Oh. Their work generates interactions between humans, their environments, and the plant world using tea ceremony, performance and installation as social practice and community building. Nine Herbs Charm is derived from a poem by the same name, which was first transcribed in Old English around the year 1000 and was likely passed on through oral traditions for generations prior. It speaks both to and about nine specific plants and their healing properties, revealing an age-old symbiotic relationship between people and the plant world.
Most of the nine plants are common weeds that grow all over the world, both crossing international boundaries and adapting into region specific varieties. Likewise, the collective is also constantly adapting to site-specific conditions, creating inter-connected leylines between communities and international cities. Collaboration is the foundational core of their process and with every project they work with local artists to create scenarios wherein participants co-collaborate on transient shared experiences.
In collaboration with David Horvitz, Nine Herbs Charm will conduct a tea ceremony at LACE that stems from their research on the plumeria plant. This ceremony will prepare participants for a meditative walk by attuning them to the consciousness of plumeria and other local plants. This walk will bring the plumeria plant from LACE in Hollywood to the FLAX house in Highland Park where it will be planted in the ground.
Eva Nielsen explores the combination of landscapes inspired by old Masters paintings and architectural elements gleaned from the urban periphery. Bringing together silkscreening and painting, with a contemporary art heritage from figures such as Ed Ruscha and Sigmar Polke, she creates utopian landscape outside of a particular time or place. These brutalist-influenced architectures testify to a hypermodernity in deserted landscapes.
Forever changing, landscapes on the outskirts are being endlessly altered. Nielsen is always fascinated by phases of transformation and transition, such as when concrete construction elements remain as is for more or less brief moments in urban areas, these ready-made giants poised for action. She is deeply attached to areas that are being forever re-defined, areas that are built in layers, chronological and material. These elements have become motifs, as seen in works like Hard Sun and Polhodie.
Aphakie is Nielsen’s most recent painting and offers new developments in her work. Unlike previous paintings, whose sketches are established beforehand, here techniques come together, superimposing strata. With various steps of dilution and rubbing, she aimed to disturb the original image of the landscape, to observe the various strata reacting to each other, creating a trompe-l’œil.
Eva Nielsen (b. 1983, Les Lilas, France) is a French-Danish artist. She received her MA with honors from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 2009 and the Socrates grant to study at Central Saint Martins (2008). Her work has been exhibited at public institutions including MAC VAL, France; MMOMA, Moscow; Abbaye Saint André, France; Plataforma Revolver, Portugal; Perm Museum, Russia; Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark; Palais Pisztory, Bratislava. Gallery exhibitions include Dominique Fiat, Paris; The Pill, Istanbul; Jousse Entreprise Gallery, Paris; Selma Feriani, London. Eva Nielsen was the 2009 recipient of the Prix des Amis des Beaux-Arts Prize, in 2014 of the Art Collector Prize, and short-listed for the Aware prize for women artists. Her work has been reviewed in Frieze, Artforum, Telerama, Art Press, Kunstbeeld, Le Monde and Time Out. Her work is featured in numerous public collections including the MAC VAL, FMAC, Museum of Rochechouart, CNAP, Fiminco Foundation.
Eva Nielsen is represented by Jousse Entreprise (Paris), The Pill (Istanbul), Selma Feriani (Tunis/London).
SMITH x DIPLOMATES. SMITH, born in Paris (1985), lives in Montreuil, Fr. SMITH’s career includes several post-graduate degrees: from the Paris-Sorbonne University in Philosophy, from the National School of Photography of Arles, from the Aalto University in Helsinki, and from the National Studio of Contemporary Arts – Le Fresnoy. His transdisciplinary work, both plastic and theoretical, is understood as an observation of constructions, deconstructions, and displacements of human identity. Photography rubs shoulders with cinema, video, choreography, bio-art and the use of new technologies, leading to collaborations with scienctific and philosophical research teams and laboratories.
SMITH’s works were exhibited as solo shows at the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie in Arles, at the Filles du Calvaire gallery and Palais de Toyko in Paris, at the Photographic Museum of Helsinki in Finland, as well as several countries in Europe (Sweden, Luxembourg, Germany, Spain, Italy, Austria, Switzerland), Asia (China, Cambodia, South Korea) and Latin America (Mexico, Chile, Uruguay). His first monograph, Löyly (by (Filigranes) was published in 2013, followed by Saturnium (Actes Sud) in 2017, and a long-length interview by art historian Christine Ollier in 2017 (André Frère). New books Astroblème (Filigranes), Si tu pleux (André Frère) and TRAUM (Textuel) will be released in 2019.
His films/installations Spectrographies and TRAUM, were presented during cinema festivals in Europe. Their artistic and choreographic performances were presented at the Centre Pompidou and Théâtre de la Cité Internationale (Paris) with the support of the Hermès – New Settings Foundation, at the CND (Pantin), at the Dance Museum (Rennes) and at the CCN-ICI (Montpellier). SMITH is currently completing a PhD in Philosophy (UQAM, Ca / Le Fresnoy, Fr). SMITH is represented by Les Filles du Calvaire, Paris.
SMITH is developing his new project Desideration with the Cosmiel Cell composed by astrophysicist Jean-Philippe Uzan (CNRS, Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris) and writer Lucien Raphmaj. They coined this new word based on desire to explain the lost celestial object we are now missing. Joined by DIPLOMATES studio and the American composer Akira Rabelais, they are working on the first step of this project. Between science and fiction, they have imagined the history of a new humanity, on a quest for an organic link with the stars, while becoming physically connected with the cosmos, and opening out to an extra-terrestrial otherness. The piece presented in the exhibition is a part of this long-term research and visual project. It launched at the MAC VAL, France in 2019 and will be presented at the Galerie des Filles du Calvaire in October 2019.
The installation in the exhibition echoes a long time ephemeral architecture developed by DIPLOMATES as a backdrop for the journal of the first cosmorgue, the first desiderated person in process of curing their symptoms, SMITH himself – as a Patient 0. DIPLOMATES is a multidisciplinary studio based between Athens, Milan and Paris that offers an engaged and experimental vision of modernity through site and context-specific interventions.
The work of DIPLOMATES was presented alongside the ar-chitects Rem Koolhaas and Zaha Hadid at the Villa Noailles (Hyères) in 2015, at Lyon Architecture Biennale in 2016, at the Paris Biennale in 2018 (Paris) and currently at the MAC VAL – contemporary art museum (Vitry-Sur-Seine). Aligned with ephemerality and fluidly experiential projects,DIPLOMATES works with architecture and design, wandering freely between various creative spheres. Its projects constantly strive to establish an effective relationship between the design and the space in question. An integrated approach to concept and making is adopted: hinged around temporality and flux it proposes a “long-term ephemeral” and establish- ing a form of transitory architecture.
Daniel Otero Torres . The work of Daniel Otero Torres is grounded in the re-construction of ideology through drawings done by hand on aluminum and stainless steel. Moving between drawing and sculpture, Otero Torres’ origami-like constructions appear at first as uncanny large-format black and white photographs. Upon closer inspection, one realizes the images are in fact handmade drawings, laboriously done with graphite pencils over a flat surface that has the visual weightlessness of paper but the actual density of metal. The artist’s unusual technique succeeds in creating a dislocation of materials as well as of contexts: his images represent not a single individual but a visual and historical collage created from a number of sources: from antique archives and books, to found images in contemporary newspapers or online sources that reflect the artist’s process of understanding the role of marginalized or largely ignored populations that have, nonetheless, played essential roles in recent history around the world.
The mobile El Borrachero presented in the exhibition borrows hands from the men on a photography Machetes by Sady González taken in Bogotá on April 9, 1948. This date marks the assassination of the Colombian liberal Jorge Eliecer Gaitan that sparked a huge and violent revolt in the streets of Bogotá called Bogotazo. The carnage and destruction of the city was absolute and many people said that Bogota never recovered. This episode was followed by decades of violence during the period known as La Violencia. The hands are stripped of their machetes. They float in mid-air with brugmansias, also called Angel’s trumpets and el borrachero in Colombia, a beautiful yet very poisonous flower coming originally from South America near The Andes and now also blooming in the streets of Los Angeles.
Daniel Otero Torres (b. 1985, Bogotá, Colombia) currently lives and works in Paris, France. His works have been exhibited in numerous institutions such as the Musée Régional d’Art Contemporain MRAC Sérignan, France, including his solo exhibition (Dé)placements (2017) and the group exhibition Bandes à part (2018); Contemporary Art Centre of Villeurbanne, Rhône-Alpes, France (2016); Kunstverein Sparkasse, Leipzig, Germany (2014); Heidelberg Kunstverein, Germany (2011); and the Bullukian Foundation, Lyon, France (2010), among others. Upcoming projects include large scale installations in La Tôlerie, Clermont Ferrand, France (2019); and Drawing Lab Paris, France (2020). He has been a resident of the Villa Belleville (2015-2016); Moly-Sabata Residency in Les Sablons, France (2014); the Cité des arts de Paris (2011-2012), and L’a rape-couleurs in Lyon, France. He has been awarded the Hors les murs creation and research program award by the French Institute; the Prix Rhône-Alpes de la Jeune Création, Rendez-vous 15, Biennale de Lyon; and the prize of the Conseil Général of the École Nationale des Beaux Arts in Lyon.
Daniel Otero Torres is represented by mor charpentier, Paris.
Hubert Robert (PARIS 1733 – 1808) . Blending fantasy and factual accuracy, Hubert Robert’s views of classical and contemporary architecture were immensely popular during his lifetime. Robert’s fascination with the ruins of Roman antiquity stemmed from his sojourn in Rome between 1754 and 1765. The painter Charles-Joseph Natoire remarked on his arrival that he had ‘a taste for architecture’, and indeed Robert’s exposure to the monuments of antiquity were to provide a lifelong artistic inspiration, earning him the nickname ‘Robert des ruines’ also echoing what Diderot called the ‘poétique des ruines’.
His paintings also testify of the development of the Enlightenments concepts such as the distinction between nature and culture such as defined by Rousseau. He even designed his original mausoleum in the philosophical garden of Ermenonville.
In scenes such as this Robert reveals his debt to the engravings of Giovanni Battista Piranesi as well as the architectural capricci of the Italian painter Gian Paolo Panini. The huge romanticized colonnades of Corinthian columns, sometimes shown with a barreled vault or left open to the sky as here, recur frequently in Robert’s works on this theme and were inspired by the monuments of ancient Rome. These colonnades were frequently graced with famous examples of classical statuary; in this instance the soldiers gamble beneath the statue of the Apollo Belvedere then as now in the Vatican and one of the classical works most admired by the Enlightenment, while beyond can be seen a headless copy of the equally famous Aphrodite of Cnidus, of which several copies or variants were in Rome. The composition strongly recalls one of Robert’s most famous designs, the Imaginary view of the Grand Gallery of the Louvre in ruins, exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1796 and today in the Louvre, in which an artist sits sketching beneath the Apollo Belvedere while other figures walk among and ponder on other fragments of classical and Renaissance statuary.