French P.O.V. #1: The Body at Theaterlab

Image above: Artwork ©KarineLaval. Laval installation at Theaterlab. 

Jacques Perdigues presented on March 10th, 2015 F POV (French Point Of View), a recurring collective exhibition of visual art and performance by French artists living in New York City and Paris. The first group show takes place at THEATERLAB (357 W 36th ST, NYC) on March 10th and 11th, 2015 and was centered on multi-faceted inspirations and viewpoints evoked by the human body.

Guest artists Karine Laval and Pierre Kauffmann join Perdigues in presenting new works, which include paintings, photography, videos and a live performance. The show will take over Theaterlab’s space, transforming it into an ephemeral gallery.

KARINE LAVAL: body obsession

ANATOMY OF DESIRE Photography and video, in-situ installation

Anatomy of Desire focuses on a notion central to photography and lens-based mediums in general: the gaze and other related questions such as seeing and being seen, revealing and concealing. Laval started this project in 2008 after a traumatic personal event triggered a long period of insomnia, during which she explored the New York gay night scene and sex parties as a catharsis and a way to face her own dark side. Sometimes following her gay friends, but often wandering on her own, she exclusively used her Blackberry phone, then the first generation of cell phone cameras, several years before the advent of Instagram and the proliferation of iPhone photography. She was fascinated by the way the low resolution of the camera created texture and gave the bodies a sculptural quality while at the same time blurring the contour of the human figure and reinforcing its dissipation. Laval was interested in the way the dematerialized surface of the image seems to mirror the fleeting aspect of the close and brief encounters she witnessed. Additionally, she’s drawn to the parallel between the mechanisms of desire and photography in the longing to retain a momentary experience that is already gone once captured by the camera.

laval2Images above: Artwork ©KarineLaval , video Installation at Theaterlab. 

Anatomy of Desire is presented as an in-situ installation where Laval transforms the space into fragments incorporating images from the project. The resulting effect is reminiscent of an augmented 3-D pixelated image where the viewer finds herself immersed into the fragmented landscape of the artist’s memory. A related series, Exposed, explores further the parallel between the mechanisms of desire and photography and the relationship between object and viewer, the seen and the unseen, voyeurism and exhibitionism, through a series of collages and images using the notion of photographic exposure as a metaphor.

Karine Laval installation1-©Karine LavalImages above: Artwork ©KarineLaval , in-situ installation at Theaterlab. 


Karine Laval is a French Brooklyn-based artist whose practice ecompasses photography, film, video and installation/projection. She graduated from the University of La Sorbonne in Paris, where she majored in communications and journalism. Her still and moving images often challenge the familiar perception we have of the world, and can be seen through time, place, memory and perception where genres such as narrative and performance are expanded through visual and temporal transformations of represented reality. Laval's distinctive use and deliberate manipulation of color contributes to question the relationship between representation and reality, with some of her works moving towards abstraction and the dissolution of the image. She combines analog techniques and digital technologies to explore the limits of the medium, investigate the process of image making and its relationship to surface/materiality, and engage a dialog with other mediums such as painting, moving images and performance.

JACQUES PERDIGUES: body incarnation

EFFICELAGE 2: Acrylic on canvas, video and live performance

For the exhibition, Perdigues, whose work revolves around the concept of birth, origin and memory, presented a series of abstract paintings and rope installation along with a 51-minute “Efficelage” video. The “Efficelage” video will be projected amongst the artist’s rope installation, a rough, organic costume of suspended hearts, body fragments and masks. Perdigues’ paintings, which are conceived as a journey to the center of the body and into the heart in all its states, will be presented in tandem with the video installation. Like a shamanic ceremony, we delve to the heart of the body inside an infinitesimal world. The feeling of love transcribed through internal vibrations in circulatory systems, visualization of the propagating upheavals of the heart.

 pierre2Images above: Artwork ©JacquesPerdigues, Performance at Theaterlab. 

Each night of the exhibition, Perdigues will emerge fully bound in the rope costume seen in the installation to perform a 25- minutes Butoh-like cabaret striptease, shedding the intricate and cumbersome rope garment and evoking the cycle of conception, pregnancy and birth.

PIERRE KAUFFMANN: body monumentalisation

PIKA-MONUMENTS Photographs and installation

Kauffmann presented photographs, objects and sculpture from his Pika-monuments series. This body of work is composed of a series of photographs featuring the artist himself dressed in costume made to evoke elements from select monumental & architectural locations that serve as the subject of the composition.

Complete procedure of Pika-monuments manufacturing a selection of the monument for its shape, its color, its size, its photogenic dimension; based on the exact colors of the chosen site, a costume is designed, using the same color. The garment cut, the ornaments and the patterns are inspired by architectural details from the chosen site; the artist then travels to the monument, staging a performance of movement, from which photographic stills are taken, resulting in beautifully executed color compositions.

Pierre Kauffmann installation-©Sebastiano Tecchio©PierreKauffmann, In-situ Installation at Theaterlab.

All Opening Images by Sebastiano Tecchio.

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