Loris Gréaud, Study for a Solipsism, 2018.
Iraqi chamotte ceramics, blown up by a C-4 type plastic explosive, matte black lacquer paint. Oak boxes dyed black, black mirrors. Box dimensions: 34,5cm x 34,5 cm, depth: 34cm – Dimensions of each stoneware piece: 34,5 cm, width: 25 cm, depth: 30 cm.
Study for a Solipsism is a series of 7 unique ceramic pieces. Each one was sculpted and formed in an explosion using a C-4 explosive.
C-4 is made with RDX, a plastic binder, a plasticizer, a petroleum product and a chemical marker. This formula is packaged as a block, as is the Iraqi chamotte used for making the ceramic pieces.
The methodology used to create these pieces was very specific, as the two materials (the clay and the explosive) are exactly alike in texture and appearance. Combined into new blocks, they were detonated, creating a literal explosion of the matter as it were ‘sculpted itself’.
This process solidifies the breath of the explosion, which is impregnated with the clay and C-4 mix, sculpting it. The result is these organic, brutal sculptures which are, paradoxically, quite delicate.
The sculptures were stored for several months to allow the forms to harden while their moisture gradually evaporated. They were then double fired at a very high temperature, as in a classic ceramic process.
This unique association of two techniques belonging to opposing spheres allowed the artist to petrify these chaotic forms, obtained in a few seconds.
Loris Gréaud, Study for a Solipsism, 2018.
Watercolour (with heroin) on Arche paper, black oak frames, museum quality anti-reflective glass. Dimensions: 34,5 cm x 39 cm, depth: 10 cm. Dimensions of each watercolour: 21 cm x 14,5 cm
Study for a Solipsism is a series of 7 watercolours, made using heroin.
The paintings represent fields of opium poppies, cultivated for their opium and the latex that is extracted to produce morphine. By the relatively complex process of acetylation, morphine is metabolised into heroin, a powerful psychotropic drug. The resulting substance is a sort of brown or ochre powder, ready to be consumed by its users for its analgesic and intoxicating virtues. Today, heroin is considered one of the most addictive and devastating drugs. It is supposed to have helped certain brilliants minds and leading figures in literature.
Study for a Solipsism is a series of naturalistic landscapes in watercolour, a medium that gives a great variety of nuances in the gradations of a same colour, through playing on transparency and reserves. However, while the watercolour medium was employed in the classic way, using a gum Arabic solution, heroin itself was used as the pigment.
Study for a Solipsism is thus a proposition which aims to crystallise in one gesture both production and representation. These landscapes are, in fact, a representation of heroin cultivation. And this representation, which has both pastoral and documentary aspects, is made with a psychotropic substance that is actually being produced in the world.
Loris Gréaud, Spores, 2018.
5 rock sculptures, one of which is translucent, suspended by means of steel cables, held in place by stainless steel fixings. Resin rocks, matte Architecte OR NOIR paint, inclusion resin and matte fiberglass mat, sound and light system inside the translucent rock: specially made control box with 1 USB port, 2 rotary potentiometers (volume adjustment and light bulb flashing sensitivity), 3 loud-speakers (60 W, 84,6 dB), 240 V, 2,8 W LED bulb with filament (21 W perceived), MP3 reader. Dimensions: height : 2,8 m, width: 98,5 cm, depth: 65,2 cm.
This is a series of 7 sculptures in the form of suspensions, which diffuse the sound and frequencies emitted by ‘dead’ stars.
Astrophysicists have been able to see that stars are agitated by luminous pulsations of sorts: their intensity varies in a more or less regular fashion. These pulsations are in fact the manifestation of sound frequencies emitted by stars. As a result many astrophysicists have studied these emissions, as they are a precious source of information in the understanding of the universe and its cycles. The discipline is called asteroseismology.
Spores focuses only on frequencies emitted by dying stars. Paradoxically, because they are so far away, the stars that seem luminous to us are those which have been dead for a long time. This is, as it were, an archetype of the ghost. One could almost talk of ‘zombie stars’.
For this series of sculptures, Loris Gréaud was inspired by recent findings of the Rosetta mission, which focuseD on determining the nature and composition of the nucleus of the 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko comet. Each suspended sculpture was conceived as a sort of rocky mass in levitation.
The sculptures are stirred into movement by the luminous spasms produced, via a dedicated system, by the transposition of the diffused sound frequencies. The work thus recreates, as if in reverse, the luminous pulsations observed by scientists, and gives us, in an artificial way, the echo of these dying stars, inviting us to immerse ourselves in a dimension which is beyond us but which, nevertheless, surrounds us.
Loris Gréaud, MACHINE, 2018.
Structure composed of oxidised metallic tubes, various sections: 3 cm, 4 cm, 6 cm and 15 cm; 68 neons (14 mm in diameter), powered by 5 transformers (230 V, 2.4 A / 50hz) through 6 mm transparent rubber-coated cables; transparent tubes; 15 polyester resin branches dyed white; neon flickering command box; black oak box; LOOK Unique haze machine, 2.1. Dimensions : 265 x 300 x (height) 340 cm.
MACHINE is a unique work, designed to be a truly autonomous entity, one which has apparently developed its own language, made of sequenced vibrations, flickerings, swirls of smoke and tinklings. While this language seems to follow common linguistic codes — it could be Morse code or an encrypted system — it proves difficult to grasp its meaning.
Special attention was paid to the materials that the work is composed of. It was made more or less as a patchwork: the disparate nature of each element is deliberately emphasised and, to this end, its mode of assemblage is purposely comprehensible at first glimpse. The perfectly identifiable form appears to be a tree or an arborescence.
In the same way as the limbs of Frankenstein’s monster are crudely stitched, the resin branches ‘bump into’ the spreading metal structure. The sculpture comes to life and seems to be in sole control of the sequences, movements and accelerations that move it. The sculpture makes every effort to create a potential communication… and ends up delivering a message without an address, whose code is given as an enigma to decipher.
Loris Gréaud, Tallinn, 2018.
Diverse waste and other materials taken by the artist from the site of the Jägala hydroelectric power station, a few miles from Tallinn, which was the location for Tarkovsky’s film, Stalker (1979). Polyester resin, wire mesh, OBC boards, battens. Dimensions : Variable dimensions.
The ‘Zone’ is a mes magnetic place. It is the quarantined territory that film maker Andrei Tarkovsky describes in his masterpiece, Stalker (1979), the place his characters risk their lives in order to discover it. An ideal Room in the heart of the Zone grants everyone’s deepest desires. But the surroundings are dangerous, and it’s impossible to get through without the help of a ‘Stalker’.
In 1977, Andrei Tarkovsky explored the area surrounding Tallinn, and decided to use the site of the Jägala hydroelectric power station as the location for Stalker. At the time he was unaware of the toxicity and radioactivity of the environment he had chosen. Aesthetically perfect, the location apparently turned out to be deadly: some of the film crew died supposedly as a result of the film shoot, as did Tarkovsky.
The Zone is thus an ambivalent space, capable of navigating between fiction and reality. And the dangers and everything imagined around it seems to have had concrete, physical repercussions in reality.
With Tallinn, Loris Gréaud explores the double status of this site, whose stigmata appear here and there. It is intended as a true work of painting. The pigments used — mud, sand, rust, oozing liquids, objects and other waste materials — were picked up by the artist at the Jägala site and are materials characteristic of the place. All this was thrown into the gallery space, giving us a glimpse of fragments of the landscape.