In Paris, artist Cyprien Gaillard dynamits the hands of time

For his spectacular return to France, the star of French modern art from 2000-2010 presents a twilight reflection on the passage of years through a two-part exhibition at Lafayette Expectations and Tokyo Palace. Until January 8, 2023.

Tick, tick, tick, tick. We had to wait a long time come back Cyprien Gaillard in France. Crowned with awards (Marcel Duchamp Award, Audi Talent, etc.), the prodigy artist has been keeping a low profile with us since he went to Berlin in 2009. At 42, he is back at Tokyo Palace and Lafayette Waiting in his hometown. Paris, with Dumpty/Dumpty. A remarkable exhibition was expressed, especially around the changes of the capital. Monumental installations, hypnotic videos, polaroids in shop windows… So many tools to explore, explain, question the inevitable flight of time. The cycle of rebirth, the inevitability of death – and of course the harsh horizons of our ecological future.

© Timo Ohler

“Pre-apocalyptic” fragrance

Interesting welcome. on the edgeHumbleIn the first chapter of the exhibition located at the Palais de Tokyo, the wounded organized the false bags Love Locks. You just have to approach it to find a pile of padlocks and guess from “Jack + Sheila”, “AA <3" and other "Iris & Sean Forever" to "seal" that they are famous locks popular with tourists. Their love on the bridges of Paris. These memories, turned into a mixture of rust-colored metal scraps, feel like relics of a bygone era. A way to remember from the beginning of the journey that, as with all things, nothing lasts forever in terms of romance.

The same message but in a different form was rejected Lead-spewing gargoyles. In a room where the logic of the temporal line is apparently no longer valid, the sculptures appear in non-chronological order, scattered with prehistoric remains, a few modern pieces and a gargoyle, therefore in full aerobatics. From these demonic mouths carved in the 19th century, traces of the once Reims church, the flow of lead, the consequences of the fire caused by the German bombing in 1914. Notre-Dame de Paris in 2019. Evidence of the destruction of flares (or munitions) that yes, as Valerie so earnestly reminds us, our civilizations “deadly”.

© Timo Ohler

The sentence is not only about humanity and its art. It is life itself that is in danger of being extinguished. In the video Ocean II Ocean, underwater creatures safely enter a subway car. Elsewhere, Cyprien’s Polaroids depict an acrobatic coexistence between urban interiors and the plant kingdom. Finally Nautilus Dubembedded in a wall, this nautilus shell, with its delicate, fragile appearance, suggests that a species known to have hardly evolved over 400 million years is today threatened by intensive fishing.

© Timo Ohler

After all, we are in the 6th mass extinction. Rose-ringed parakeets fly between skyscrapers in the German metropolis in the Panopticon video Training they too could soon be gone. In the sculpture, this mother embracing her children is not a tragic – animalistic, almost – protective gesture. Mutter Mit Zwei Kindern By Käthe Kollwitz, one of the guest artists who can prevent this.

© Timo Ohler

A dream of found livesetc

So everything will be doomed? Not exactly. Just ahead, a colorful digital silhouette folds in on itself in a furious twist before unfolding again and again. A hologram that continues the terrifying features of this crazy dance Angel of the hearth Drawn by Max Ernst in 1937, it suggests: the existing undergoes periodic metamorphoses. Formation, disorder, and then again—though in a different form, perhaps—formation.

Exhibition with the closing part of the Palais de Tokio: State report. This video (also opening caseHumblein Lafayette Anticipations) shows Defender of Time. The automatic clock was installed in Paris’s derelict Quartier de l’Horloge in 1979 and was destroyed in 2003. The images released show the lethargy of this huge room, which has been (finally?) disturbed by preparations for Prêtre et Fils. view of its demolition. And its recovery.

An initiative led by Cyprien Gaillard, who, after introducing himself with one of his works, surprised with his stance as a defender of heritage. soil art often presenting vandalized landscapes. In this new approach, flirting with the archeology of dreamy submission, should we see a nostalgic look at the retro? An idealized charm for the “front”? “No Way”, Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel, exhibition curator and artistic director of Lafayette Anticipations. “Cyprien does not try to romanticize the past. He simply presents himself as a careful witness of the stratification of time.. For example, organizing the restoration of a symbolic installation, its dazzling result can be seen on three floors of the institution.

© Timo Ohler

Cleaned from the doves’ stain, polished and functional again, the Defender triumphantly returns from beyond the grave. Visible musculature, arm armed with a sword. In the background of remixes hits Since 2003, the machine has been activated in time to recreate the Defender’s battle against the crab, rooster and dragon. What animal wife could best represent the catastrophic destruction of this champion’s years of fighting? advertisement ». A quixotic venture, no matter how vain or audacious, time always wins in the end. This is a bitter lesson Cannot be recovered. A portrait of Gael Foucher, a close friend of Cyprien Gaillard, disappeared in 2013, and neither technical ingenuity nor the exploits of the Defender could bring it back to life. Man does not roll dice with death.

Elsewhere, Frieze 1 On the eve of the 2024 Olympics, he scrolls through the images related to the major restoration project of the architectural jewels of Paris (Concord, the Grand Palace, etc.). But at what price can you participate in these missions? facelift »? The debauchery of tens of millions of euros dedicated to the transformation of the capital (almost) into a new showcase could be invested in the future.

In the creation of green areas. Optimization of insulation, opening of bicycle paths. Common sense environmentally responsible initiatives during an unprecedented climate crisis for humanity. And the outcome of COP27, which was assessed as “mixed” by environmental associations, will reassure us. Course against timeDumpty/Dumpty it reads like an uneasy refrain: some things can’t be fixed. It is up to us to draw the consequences. Tick, tick, tick, tick…

Dumpty/Dumpty, Until January 8, 2023. at Lafayette Anticipations and at the Palais de Tokyo.

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