Laurent Grasso

Magnetic Palace

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At the Institut d’art contemporain, Laurent Grasso uses the entire exhibition space as a support for experiments using electromagnetic phenomena such as the aurora borealis and electric arcs.

Laurent Grasso makes works that hint at the presence of ghostly spirits (Radio Ghost, 2003), that depict a paranoiac monologue about a threatening reality (Tout est possible, 2002) or that warn of the dangers of electromagnetic waves (Du Soleil dans les Yeux, 2001). Other works focus less on the notion of marker, scientific message or false narration than with a direct and destabilizing addressing of the retina: phosphenes in Vertigo (2005), a disturbing cloud in Projection (2005), a flash of light in Paralight (2004), etc. And then he might use a film camera to turn known or identifiable reality into an enigmatic image that confuses the viewer's landmarks (Mes Actrices, 1999; Soyez les bienvenus, 1999; Missing Time, 2002; Paracinema, 2006).

In most of his works, Laurent Grasso seeks to create tension between reality and fiction, between conscious and the unconscious. He makes audiovisual devices with image projection techniques and different electrical and electronic materials to fix—in hypnotic mode—perceptive experiences and mental images.

The moving image is used with the artist focusing closely on its floating status and interferences between external reality and psychic state, between the sensorial and the irrational. He explores the notion of 'projection' and vision' in all their dimensions. The cinema and then paranormal phenomena are used as 'means' in the background; he draws on these domains that escape rational analysis to create real environmental set-ups. Laurent Grasso thus makes images and creates atmospheres that question our behaviour and that finally grasp the invisible or the disturbing strangeness of the world.

A French artist born in 1972, Laurent Grasso lives and works in Paris. He has had several solo shows in the past ten years (Visual Art Center, Cambridge, USA, 2006; Galerie Extraspazio, Rome, De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam, 2005; Galerie Agnès b., Hong Kong, 2004) and has participated in numerous joint exhibitions (Nuit Blanche, Le Plateau/Frac Ile-de-France, Paris; Notre histoire, Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Satellite of love, Witte de With, Rotterdam, 2006; Subréel, MAC, Marseille, 2002).

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