La Villa du Parc contemporary art center in Annemasse, France, is pleased to offer, in the second installment of the gray zones season, a number of new projects by Chloé Delarue and Ludovic Sauvage, two French artists born in the mid-1980s whose installations upend our perception of time and space, transporting us to imaginary worlds where image and sculpture fuse fiction and reality, the tangible and the dreamlike.

8 February - 9 May, 2020

Villa du Parc, Annemasse

Chloé Delarue

This winter La Villa du Parc has invited the artist Chloé Delarue (*1986) to produce at our contemporary art center a new iteration of TAFAA (Toward A Fully Automated Appearance), the acronym under which she has been developing her visual work for five years now. TAFAA forms a dense immersive whole in which technical residues contaminated by some kind of organic mucus have been transformed into hybrids; TAFAA acts like a biotope that evolves generatively from show to show.

This physical environment is driven by slow changes and apparently low-intensity energies. Here we feel the effects of on-going changes to our sensibility and ties to reality, which are modified by current technology whose externalizations, branching out more and more, are increasingly powerful and autonomous. TAFAA is an anxiety-producing projection in a period that is hard to place, the creation in real time of a future that might already be the past, constantly becoming reality and being refreshed. It looks like an alternate hidden territory, a tangible yet paradoxically uncertain space.

This latest sequence is called “The Century of the Snitch” and occupies both floors of La Villa du Parc. Delarue has taken over the exhibition venue with a mechanism for physical dissolution. Our perception is powerfully disturbed and becomes troubled and insecure, conditioned by the internal logic of TAFAA dealing with functioning and appearance. Here and there are “offering boundary stones” that are self-illuminating with sodium lamps, concretions of vegetal and industrial latex flesh that are grafted with different armatures. TAFAA – THE CENTURY OF THE SNITCH makes concrete esthetic and sensory hallucinations of a landscape in which the squamae of the living and modernity are steeped in the obsolescence of computer code.

Ludovic Sauvage

Ludovic Sauvage re-appropriates promising though clichéd images of idyllic landscapes and dream products or situations that circulated in the mass media of the last century. He tests their physical and retinal resistance at a time of digital dematerialization and the iconic exhaustion of utopias.
Often gleaned from back issues of magazines going back years, these images, which were and are meant to have a short lifespan and to be consumed immediately, have been spared oblivion by the gesture of collecting, which Sauvage carries out as an iconographer. In his installations, the artist offers the images new perspectives by sounding their material depth and heightening the support’s reactions through a range of different introspective manipulations. Posters cut into strips, slides projected until their film is worn down to nothing, images printed on mirrors that render them ghostly, these allow the artist to reveal the organic condition of the material – its fragility, durability, evanescence, etc., beyond representation’s indications of splendor, are a mirage that has partly vanished. In such intermediary states in which signified and signifier are given equal footing on a level plane, these artificial commercial images tip over into the dreamlike and the ambivalent. The oddity and uncanniness of the lighting and sculptural objects that serve as their setting when displayed add to the perceptual misalignment and the difficulty of placing ourselves timewise when facing these representations.
Ludovic Sauvage is presenting a new multipart installation in the veranda of La Villa du Parc. The installation comprises four small black modules which incorporate details of images on the surface of blackened mirrors, composing a mysterious decorative narrative. The piece is titled “Corporate Poetry” and subtly echoes the particularities of this welcoming glass-lined showcase of a space, which opens onto the outside park, its tinted window filtering the incoming daylight.

Text and curatedy by Garance Chabert
Photo: Aurélien Mole