He produces sculptural installations, which regularly incorporate an equal element of sound. Each new piece is planned through a series of watercolours that explore the themes approached by the final installation. For this exhibition Ardouvin presents a series of darkened rooms, the floors strewn with jewellery and chandeliers as if it is the fantastical destruction of a bourgeois party.
Back in Black
In conjunction with Paris Calling, Museum 52 is delighted to present a new site-specific installation by Pierre Ardouvin. Ardouvin produces sculptural installations, which regularly incorporate an equal element of sound. He focuses on sound as a material and on its effect on the viewer's perception of space. Each new piece is planned through a series of watercolours that explore the themes approached by the final installation.
For his exhibition at Museum 52 Ardouvin will produce a series of darkened rooms, the floors strewn with jewellery and chandeliers as if it is the fantastical destruction of a bourgeois party. Gravity seems to have taken its toll; everything has collected on the floor, creating a haunting ambience suggestive of dystopia. This fairy tale gone wrong is emphasised in the rear space by a slowly rotating mirror, no longer reflecting the suggested inhabitants of the space. The last remaining presence of the departed revellers is a multi- layered recording of people whispering, the sound so thick it resembles running water. Ardouvin does not recreate a scene, but instead combines a series of juxtaposed elements that decentre reality.
The result is a sort of paranoia, an examination of the world falling apart. Ardouvin is not one for flamboyant representations or heroic art, he prefers to take an interest in “losers", the flops of the show, festive misery, or popular culture at its most pitiful. Ardouvin's installations are not cynical, but instead beautiful and melancholic representations of a world turned upside down so it can be perceived more clearly.
Ardouvin was recently commissioned by the Muse'e d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris to construct a piece to mark the reopening of the Muse'e in January 2006. For the installation he created a composition as calculated as one of Mondrian's dynamic equilibrium paintings, however, instead of painting Ardouvin hung rigid washing lines, covered with clothing, between the faux-columns of the Muse'e. The sculpture was lit at night as if it were the set for a play, lending it a false sense of drama. On Dirait le Sud, 2005 not only attempted to disrupt the faux-classical formalism of the Fascist architecture but also to reference towns, like Naples, where the grandeur and bureaucratic ambience of Fascist architecture was juxtaposed with extreme poverty.
Ardouvin has exhibited at the Palais De Tokyo, Paris; SESAC, Turin; Les Revues Parlees, Centre G. Pompidou, Paris and Galerie Chez Valentin, Paris. He also featured in this year's Art Statements at Art Basel, Switzerland.
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Part of Paris Calling a Season of Contemporary Art from France
Private View 9 November 2006
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