cyprien gaillard: rubble and revelation at fondazione nicola trussardi
original content
nov 16, 2012
cyprien gaillard: rubble and revelation at fondazione nicola trussardi


‘gates’, 2012
frottages on paper
82 x 107 cm
courtesy sprüth magers berlin london
image © designboom

 

cyprien gaillard: rubble and revelation
fondaxione nicola trussardi
caserma XXIV maggio, via vincenzo monti 59, milan
november 13 – december 16, 2012

 

approaching his artistic practice much like that of an archaeologist, cyprien gaillard travels the globe in search of modern-day monuments,
documenting their existence and gradual decline with the precision of a scholar. capturing these relics and ruins through the medium of photography,
video, sculpture and collage, the french artist has developed a vast archive of imagery which reflects the destruction and deterioration of our society,
an expression of his obsession with the poetry of decay, through tracing the roots of dramatic social changes.

set within caserma XXIV maggio military bakery – a site which had supplied bread to all of the military complexes in the lombardy region
for over a century (closing in 2005), and nourished the whole city of milan during world war II – the selected venue for the young french artist’s
first solo show in italy, is rich in memories, reinforcing and complimenting the themes he addresses through his work.

‘rubble and revelation’ takes the viewer on a journey through the past and present, amidst a myriad of cultural contexts which bear the scars
of violent transformation and the hallmarks of collapse. each raw image is a piece of gaillard’s collective memory, as if through the eyes of a documentary maker,
conveying the enduring process of erasure and reexamination that landmarks and icons undergo over the course of history showing the social and cultural
transformations for which we experience.

 

 


‘gates’, 2012
frottages on paper
82 x 107 cm
courtesy sprüth magers berlin london
image © designboom

 

 

the ‘gates’ series was developed when gaillard roamed the streets of californian metropolises in which he collected imprints of manhole covers,
some of which read ‘city of los angeles – made in india’, conflating different localities and overlapping distant geographies.

 


‘gates’, 2012

frottages on paper
82 x 107 cm
courtesy sprüth magers berlin london
image © designboom

 

 


installation view of ‘gates’
image © designboom

 

 


‘new picturesque’, 2012
postcards, paper
collages, 20 x 28 x 2,8 cm each
courtesy sprüth magers berlin london
image © designboom

 

 

old black and white postcards depicting ancient castles are covered with torn segments of paper, hiding and revealing their silhouettes in ‘new picturesque’.
their application conceals the decorative details , stripping them of their function, in which gaillard questions the deeper meaning of their grizzled edifices.

 


‘new picturesque’ is composed of postcards of castles whose edifices are blocked out by torn pieces of paper
image © designboom

 

 


through the act of hiding the decorative elements of the buildings, gaillard questions the meaning of the castles’ edifices
image © designboom

 

 


‘new picturesque’ in the context of the old military bakery
image © designboom
 

 

 


‘millions into darkness’, 2012
showcases, pieces of meteorites, B/W photographs
130 x 130 x 90 cm each
courtesy sprüth magers berlin london
image © designboom

 

an installation of large vitrines, ‘millions into darkness’ contains an assortment of fragments and vestiges which the artist has arranged with
scientific precision – dozens of black and white photographs salvaged from the archives of various american newspapers are rescued from darkness,
as the work’s title suggests. the piece reconstructs a history of conflict and catastrophe in which news photos and documents are juxtaposed
with fragments of meteorites – shrapnel fallen to earth from the depths of the universe – that might function as weapons of a new kind of
urban guerilla warfare.

 


archival photographs from american newspapers are arranged in juxtaposition with pieces of meteorites
image © designboom

 

 


the images depict moments of catasrophe

image © designboom

 

 


image © designboom

 

 


general views of the exhibition venue
image © designboom

 

 


‘geographical analogies’, 2006-2011
mixed media
3 tables, 66 boes, 65 x 48 x 10 cm each
courtesy sprüth magers berlin london / bugada & gargnel, paris / laura bartlett gallery, london
image © designboom

 

set-up as a series of panels reminiscent of displays often seen in natural history museums, gaillard has positioned nine polaroids within each case
of his installation ‘geographical analogies’. these collages are a collection of photographs which he has taken on all five continents, an atlas of the world,
bringing forth anologies and contrasts between locations around the globe that share a sense of the sublime: from the pyramids of mexico,
to housing projects in the bronx, to french castles and public sculptures in iraq.

 

 


collages of polaroids arranged in compositions of nine, present photographs which  have been shot by the artist over five continents
image © designboom

 

 


the two-dimensional works draw analogies and contrasts of various global locations which share a sense of the sublime

image © designboom

 

 


detail of the polaroids
image © designboom

 

 


the photographs capture such sites as french castles and public monuments in iraq

image © designboom

 

 


image © designboom

 

 


image © designboom

 

 

 


the set-up of the panels is reminiscent of displays seen in a natural history museum
image © designboom

 

 

 


‘real remnants of fictive wars V’, 2004
35mm film
loop: 7 min 15 sec
courtesy sprüth magers berlin london / bugada & gargnel, paris / laura bartlett gallery, london
image © designboom

 

‘real remnants of fictive wars’ is a compilation of five short performances in which gaillard has set off industrial fire extinguishers within
carefully selected landscapes. smoke slowly wafts out of a tree in the background in a small act of reversible vandalism which first obliterates
and then reveals the composure of the surrounding environment.

 


image © designboom

 

 


the orchestrated scene takes place on a castle balaustrade

image © designboom

 

 


‘the lake arches’, 2007
video DVD, color, silent
loop: 1 min 38 sec
courtesy sprüth magers berlin london / bugada & gargnel, paris / laura bartlett gallery, london
image © designboom

 

in his work, the french artist weaves a web of references to 1960s american art, debates about urban planning, preservation,
ecology and the rise and fall of modernist utopias. in ‘the lake arches’ gaillard’s capture of derelict buildings and shifting landscapes romantically
incarnate the inevitable fate that the passage of time holds for all human efforts. produced using a handy cam, the film shows young men
diving into a shallow body of water, a game which evokes a rite of passage, one of them emerging with a bloody, broken nose. an architectural relic –
ricardo bofill’s apartment block in saint-quentin-en-yveslines near paris – stands in the background, watching helplessly like a postmodern ghost.

 


‘the lake arches’
image © designboom

 

 


image © designboom

 

 


image © designboom

 

 


cyprien gaillard
image © designboom

 

 


the fondazione nicola trussardi team from left to right: barbara roncari, production; massimiliano gioni, artistic director and curator; roberta tenconi, special projects
image © designboom

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fondazione nicola trussardi (16 articles)

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