Sunday, November 26, 2006

Entropic Landscapes

I'm just now stumbling upon the work of Cyprien Gaillard, a Parisian artist whose "form of Land art has developed from within the urban landscape of housing estates and high-rise buildings outwards to the countryside and classical architecture." This press release for his new show The Lake Arches describes his evolving interest in "disruption within the workings of the picturesque, in entropy and decay", and landscapes which have their "roots in current political and ecological discord."

The show, which takes place in London at the Laura Bartlett Gallery, will feature a survey of recent and previous projects. As part of an earlier exhibition Real Remnants of Fictive Wars ("films of explosions in the landscape"), Gaillard presents Part V, "a 35mm film that slowly pans the balustrade of a chateau, traveling against a growing cloud of smoke that erupts from distant trees."

[Image: Real Remnants of Fictive Wars, a film of "landscapes and explosions" - 2005, Cyprien Gaillard.]

From Belief in the Age of Disbelief, "Gaillard has introduced tower blocks into 17th Century Dutch landscape etchings. These post-war structures, once a symbol of utopian promise that have now come to represent racial conflict, urban decay, criminality and violence, have been seamlessly assimilated into a rural idyll. Some tower blocks have been positioned in the etching like a defiant medieval fortress, others as apocalyptic ruins. Like the paintings of Hubert Robert, admired by Diderot, who depicted ancient ruins and even the imaginary future ruins of the Louvre (1796), Gaillard comments on the relationship between romanticism and decay, and architectures’ inherent communicative power."

[Image: Les Deux Chemins au Ruisseau (Étape VII), 2005 Etching, 17 x 25 cm. Cyprien Gaillard.]

Lastly, Gaillard includes Geographical Analogies - a "collection of polaroids that deal with entropic landscapes, places that are eroding or de-composing. Displayed as if butterflies under glass, the Analogies’ crystalline formations belie an intricate, if exploded, taxonomy of concerns, from geopolitics to youth culture, geology to art history."

Well, I'm sold anyway. I haven't been able to find much online about his work (at least that I can read), but - if anyone out there checks this out, and wouldn't mind sending me a few pics, well, that would be real dandy. Either way, if you are out roaming around London - just walking the city, perhaps - checking out all the new street signs at some point, maybe see if you can't find your way over to the gallery and take a peak.


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