Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster. 1887–2058

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster
September 23, 2015 – February 1, 2016

Espace 77, 2015
with Philippe Parreno (showcases)

Environment

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Brasilia Hall, 1998/2000 
Neon lighting, carpet, small monitor (built into the wall)

A vast green carpet recalling grass, a neon sign that reads Brasilia Hall, and at the far end, a monitor placed inside a recess in a wall which screens the the artist’s film Brasilia. The installation evokes the democratic opens space of Brasilia – a modernist city designed between 1957 and 1960 by Lucia Costa and Oscar Niemeyer. 

Collection Moderna Museet, Stockholm

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Brasilia Hall, 1998/2000 
Neon lighting, carpet, small monitor (built into the wall)

A vast green carpet recalling grass, a neon sign that reads Brasilia Hall, and at the far end, a monitor placed inside a recess in a wall which screens the the artist’s film Brasilia. The installation evokes the democratic opens space of Brasilia – a modernist city designed between 1957 and 1960 by Lucia Costa and Oscar Niemeyer. 

Collection Moderna Museet, Stockholm

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Textorama (Desertic, Tropical), 2009/2015 (right)
Vinyl on wall, panoramic calligram

In collaboration with Marie Proyart

Three large-scale dioramas, inspired by traditional natural history museum displays, depict three terrains ― the tropics, the desert, and the North Atlantic. Traces of man-made interventions are evident in each landscape. In lieu of wildlife, however, the Dioramas take literature as their central subject.

 
Séance De Shadow II (bleu), 1998 (center)
7 to 10 lamps with infrared sensors
Transit space with carpet. At the entrances/exits, spotlights are situated with motion detectors that switch on a bright light.
 

euqinimod & costumes, 2014 (left)

Environment

 
Photo © Andrea Rossetti

euqinimod & costumes, 2014 

Environment

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

euqinimod & costumes, 2014 

Environment

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Séances Biographiques, 3e session, 1994/2015

Chairs, desk, lamps, photocopier, framed archival digital prints (RGB Prints, 2013), Kodak prints on transparent film mounted under Plexiglas (Chambres, 1996) and various photocopies

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster drew biographical chronologies based on conversations with visitors. Photocopies of these drawings became part of the installation; visitors took the original drawings home. This is the only chambre by the artist to comprise an interactive possibility. 

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Séances Biographiques, 3e session, 1994/2015

Chairs, desk, lamps, photocopier, framed archival digital prints (RGB Prints, 2013), Kodak prints on transparent film mounted under Plexiglas (Chambres, 1996) and various photocopies

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster drew biographical chronologies based on conversations with visitors. Photocopies of these drawings became part of the installation; visitors took the original drawings home. This is the only chambre by the artist to comprise an interactive possibility. 

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Séances Biographiques, 3e session, 1994/2015

Chairs, desk, lamps, photocopier, framed archival digital prints (RGB Prints, 2013), Kodak prints on transparent film mounted under Plexiglas (Chambres, 1996) and various photocopies

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster drew biographical chronologies based on conversations with visitors. Photocopies of these drawings became part of the installation; visitors took the original drawings home. This is the only chambre by the artist to comprise an interactive possibility. 

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Chambre 19, 2015

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Nos Années 70 (Chambre), 1992
Foam mattress for two people, pink sheet, purple cushion, books, Indian bracelets, Boalum lamp, fabric with Indian pattern, 5 photographs and various images pinned to the wall

 

Chambre 19, 2015 (right)

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Nos Années 70 (Chambre), 1992
Foam mattress for two people, pink sheet, purple cushion, books, Indian bracelets, Boalum lamp, fabric with Indian pattern, 5 photographs and various images pinned to the wall

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Nos Années 70 (Chambre), 1992
Foam mattress for two people, pink sheet, purple cushion, books, Indian bracelets, Boalum lamp, fabric with Indian pattern, 5 photographs and various images pinned to the wall

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

R.W.F. (Rainer Werner Fassbinder), 1993

Installation of bed, cushions, chair, carpet, wall paint, and reflective appliqué, photocopied image of Rainer Werner Fassbinder

For a 1993 solo exhibition, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster transformed an entire apartment in Cologne into an imaginary film set, evoking Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s practice of using his own apartment as a film location. R.W.F. is the only extant work from Gonzalez-Foerster’s exhibition which featured a sequence of rooms, with reference to RWF films such as Lola and Veronica Voss.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

R.W.F. (Rainer Werner Fassbinder), 1993

Installation of bed, cushions, chair, carpet, wall paint, and reflective appliqué, photocopied image of Rainer Werner Fassbinder

For a 1993 solo exhibition, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster transformed an entire apartment in Cologne into an imaginary film set, evoking Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s practice of using his own apartment as a film location. R.W.F. is the only extant work from Gonzalez-Foerster’s exhibition which featured a sequence of rooms, with reference to RWF films such as Lola and Veronica Voss.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Double Happiness, 1999 
Neon 
Chinese character for “Happiness”, twice

Gonzalez-Foerster's use of symbols refers both to the difficulty of translating abstract concepts into language and between cultures. This work transcends any direct communication of signs or symbols, rather opening up a space of possibilities, with a rich array of associations, from both within the artist's particular oeuvre, and the outside world.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Splendide Hotel (annexe), 2015
Neon, rocking chairs, books, rug, mirror, gramophone and various items

The term Splendide Hotel was adapted from a line by poet Arthur Rimbaud. Gonzalez-Foerster created a complex, intuitive web of literary, cultural, musical, and historical associations around books, objects, discoveries and their authors and readers, around the year 1887.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Splendide Hotel (annexe), 2015
Neon, rocking chairs, books, rug, mirror, gramophone and various items

The term Splendide Hotel was adapted from a line by poet Arthur Rimbaud. Gonzalez-Foerster created a complex, intuitive web of literary, cultural, musical, and historical associations around books, objects, discoveries and their authors and readers, around the year 1887.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Splendide Hotel (annexe), 2015
Neon, rocking chairs, books, rug, mirror, gramophone and various items

The term Splendide Hotel was adapted from a line by poet Arthur Rimbaud. Gonzalez-Foerster created a complex, intuitive web of literary, cultural, musical, and historical associations around books, objects, discoveries and their authors and readers, around the year 1887.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Splendide Hotel (annexe), 2015
Neon, rocking chairs, books, rug, mirror, gramophone and various items

The term Splendide Hotel was adapted from a line by poet Arthur Rimbaud. Gonzalez-Foerster created a complex, intuitive web of literary, cultural, musical, and historical associations around books, objects, discoveries and their authors and readers, around the year 1887.

 

Splendide Hotel, 2015 (left)
Neon

The term Splendide Hotel was adapted from a line by poet Arthur Rimbaud. Gonzalez-Foerster created a complex, intuitive web of literary, cultural, musical, and historical associations around books, objects, discoveries and their authors and readers, around the year 1887.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Splendide Hotel, 2015
Neon

The term Splendide Hotel was adapted from a line by poet Arthur Rimbaud. Gonzalez-Foerster created a complex, intuitive web of literary, cultural, musical, and historical associations around books, objects, discoveries and their authors and readers, around the year 1887.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Une Chambre En Ville, 1996

Newspapers, telephone, mini television, radio alarm clock, lighting system emitting light that changes from blue to red and then to orange 

This is an early iconic work from the artist‘s series of Chambres (rooms) that, with economic simplicity, construct environments meant to evoke periods (developmental, cultural, historical), atmospheres or emotions through color, functional or ornamental objects, and sometimes imagery. The Chambres act like conflations of mnemonic traces, creating spaces full of a vague concreteness, of half-remembered occurrences and objects, which also characterizes the dynamics of dreams. 

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Une Chambre En Ville, 1996

Newspapers, telephone, mini television, radio alarm clock, lighting system emitting light that changes from blue to red and then to orange 

This is an early iconic work from the artist‘s series of Chambres (rooms) that, with economic simplicity, construct environments meant to evoke periods (developmental, cultural, historical), atmospheres or emotions through color, functional or ornamental objects, and sometimes imagery. The Chambres act like conflations of mnemonic traces, creating spaces full of a vague concreteness, of half-remembered occurrences and objects, which also characterizes the dynamics of dreams. 

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Une Chambre En Ville, 1996

Newspapers, telephone, mini television, radio alarm clock, lighting system emitting light that changes from blue to red and then to orange 

This is an early iconic work from the artist‘s series of Chambres (rooms) that, with economic simplicity, construct environments meant to evoke periods (developmental, cultural, historical), atmospheres or emotions through color, functional or ornamental objects, and sometimes imagery. The Chambres act like conflations of mnemonic traces, creating spaces full of a vague concreteness, of half-remembered occurrences and objects, which also characterizes the dynamics of dreams. 

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Lola Montez in Berlin, 2015 

Video

Duration 03:58 min

For this work, Gonzalez-Foerster draws on the 1955 film Lola Montez, in which its director Max Ophüls envisioned the life of a minor historical character mostly known for her amorous exploits with famous men. The film represents her as a woman caught in the exploitative machinery of a sensationalist public and poignantly visualizes this exploitation through the figure’s display as scandalous beast in a circus. 

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Lola Montez in Berlin, 2015 

Video

Duration 03:58 min

For this work, Gonzalez-Foerster draws on the 1955 film Lola Montez, in which its director Max Ophüls envisioned the life of a minor historical character mostly known for her amorous exploits with famous men. The film represents her as a woman caught in the exploitative machinery of a sensationalist public and poignantly visualizes this exploitation through the figure’s display as scandalous beast in a circus. 

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Véra & Mister Hyde, 2015

HD video, format 16:9

Duration 17:00 min

The film continuously intercuts footage from two of Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster’s apparitions, Véra Nabokov and Bob Dylan, from a series entitled M.2062 (la partie de l’opéra). The constant shift from color to black and white, and from spoken word to signage may constitute an analogy to Vladimir Nabokov's theory of good and evil.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Belle comme le jour2012 

Video

Duration 13:00 min

A homage and imagined prequel to Luis Bunuel’s Belle de Jour (1967) and Manoel Olivieira’s Belle toujours (2006). Belle Comme le Jour is a possible illustration of an ongoing dialogue between Bunuel and Hitchcock, in an open conversation with film directors Truffaut and De Palma. Explores the first fictional encounter of a legendary screen and real-life couple: Catherine Deneuve and Marcello Mastroianni, the ultimate embodiment of cinematic passion.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Ann Lee in Anzen Zone, 2000 

DVD projected via video beamer, loudspeaker, light 
Duration 3:25 min

An animated Manga figure, Ann Lee, describing her fate as a cheap commercial item. She makes a ghostlike appearance, and she speaks Japanese. She is accompanied by a lookalike, a “living translation” of herself, who presents herself as herald of an apocalyptic prophecy.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Noreturn, 2009 

HD film (color, sound, 16:9 format) 

Duration 16:00 min

Filmed in Gonzalez-Foerster’s 2008 exhibition at Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in London. A group of children in school uniform enter an exhibition space in which bunk beds are placed in orderly grids among giant sculptures. First 
excited, playing and fooling around, eventually the children shelter underneath a Henry Moore sculpture. The atmosphere changes gradually as the children sit on the bunk beds reading and dozing off. 

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

MM, 2015

Slide show

A series of eight photographs of an apparition of the artist as Marylin Monroe. These photographs appear between each of the films shown in the cinema. 

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

MM, 2015

Slide show

A series of eight photographs of an apparition of the artist as Marylin Monroe. These photographs appear between each of the films shown in the cinema. 

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Exotourisme, 2002/2013

Neon 

The project Exotourisme addresses complex transient experiences such as an ambience of a city space, an exotic travel or a momentous passing vision of a dream. Although it can be read as a critique of the practice of touristic exploration, exoticism and restless search for the new impressions, it is still also an invitation to dream up, visualize and contemplate distant unknown landscapes. 

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Textorama (Desertic, Tropical), 2009/2015
Vinyl on wall, panoramic calligram

In collaboration with Marie Proyart

Three large-scale dioramas, inspired by traditional natural history museum displays, depict three terrains ― the tropics, the desert, and the North Atlantic. Traces of man-made interventions are evident in each landscape. In lieu of wildlife, however, the Dioramas take literature as their central subject.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Cosmodrome, 2001
Sound & light installation (4 speakers, power cables, 2 power racks, power block, Iris print, cuts, hooks, consoles, shelfs, soundcard and DMX cable, remote control, transformators, braces, gelatine, lights, cold light lamps, red lamps, bluelight, ARIC pipes)
 

Textorama (Desertic, Tropical), 2009/2015 (left)
Vinyl on wall, panoramic calligram

In collaboration with Marie Proyart

Three large-scale dioramas, inspired by traditional natural history museum displays, depict three terrains ― the tropics, the desert, and the North Atlantic. Traces of man-made interventions are evident in each landscape. In lieu of wildlife, however, the Dioramas take literature as their central subject.

 
Photo © Andrea Rossetti
Cosmodrome, 2001
Sound & light installation (4 speakers, power cables, 2 power racks, power block, Iris print, cuts, hooks, consoles, shelfs, soundcard and DMX cable, remote control, transformators, braces, gelatine, lights, cold light lamps, red lamps, bluelight, ARIC pipes)
 
Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Cronotopes & Dioramas (Desertic), 2009

Mural painting, books, various components

Three large-scale dioramas, inspired by traditional natural history museum displays, depict three terrains ― the tropics, the desert, and the North Atlantic. Traces of man-made interventions are evident in each landscape. In lieu of wildlife, however, the Dioramas take literature as their central subject.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Cronotopes & Dioramas (Desertic), 2009

Mural painting, books, various components

Three large-scale dioramas, inspired by traditional natural history museum displays, depict three terrains ― the tropics, the desert, and the North Atlantic. Traces of man-made interventions are evident in each landscape. In lieu of wildlife, however, the Dioramas take literature as their central subject.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Cronotopes & Dioramas (Desertic), 2009

Mural painting, books, various components

Three large-scale dioramas, inspired by traditional natural history museum displays, depict three terrains ― the tropics, the desert, and the North Atlantic. Traces of man-made interventions are evident in each landscape. In lieu of wildlife, however, the Dioramas take literature as their central subject.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

M.2062 (Fitzcarraldo), 2014
HD video, special projection, hologram, pepper ghost effect, computer, amplifier, speakers, special foil screen, lights, curtains 

Duration 15:00 min approx.

While previous apparitions by Gonzalez-Foerster were live, single occurrences, this work for the first time captures the time-based quality of those performative events. Technically sophisticated (both the recording and the projection), the ghostly flickering images in effect make visible the fragility and fleetingness of Gonzalez-Foerster’s apparitions. The holographic projection shows Gonzalez-Foerster as Fitzcarraldo, the protagonist of Werner Herzog’s eponymous 1981 film, portrayed by Klaus Kinski. 

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

M.2062 (Fitzcarraldo), 2014
HD video, special projection, hologram, pepper ghost effect, computer, amplifier, speakers, special foil screen, lights, curtains 

Duration 15:00 min approx.

While previous apparitions by Gonzalez-Foerster were live, single occurrences, this work for the first time captures the time-based quality of those performative events. Technically sophisticated (both the recording and the projection), the ghostly flickering images in effect make visible the fragility and fleetingness of Gonzalez-Foerster’s apparitions. The holographic projection shows Gonzalez-Foerster as Fitzcarraldo, the protagonist of Werner Herzog’s eponymous 1981 film, portrayed by Klaus Kinski. 

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Dublinesca (Installation), 2012
4 bunk beds (3 blue, 1 yellow), 8 books
The bunk beds and books refer to the artist’s TH.2058 project, first exhibited at the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in 2008–09 that imagined domestic spaces in a dystopian post-apocalyptic world and filled that hall entirely with of such beds. It takes its name from Enrique Vila Matas' novel DublinescaTH.2058 looks 50 years into the future, as the inhabitants of London have taken shelter in the Turbine Hall from a never-ending rain. 
 
Photo © Andrea Rossetti
Dublinesca (Installation), 2012
4 bunk beds (3 blue, 1 yellow), 8 books
The bunk beds and books refer to the artist’s TH.2058 project, first exhibited at the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in 2008–09 that imagined domestic spaces in a dystopian post-apocalyptic world and filled that hall entirely with of such beds. It takes its name from Enrique Vila Matas' novel DublinescaTH.2058 looks 50 years into the future, as the inhabitants of London have taken shelter in the Turbine Hall from a never-ending rain. 
 
Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Untitled (Brancusi garden), 2015

Adhesive red film, mirror, photograph

The work takes as a point of departure a photograph of Florence Meyer posing in the studio for Constantin Brancusi around 1932.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster. 1887–2058

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster
Centre Pompidou, Paris
September 23, 2015 – February 1, 2016
Previous
Next

Since the mid-eighties, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster's work has drawn a living memory of film, literature and the immersive structures of architecture and music as ways of exploring the possibilities of the artistic realm.

 

Through a maze of rooms, environments and passages, this exhibition, both retrospective and forward-looking, displays some thirty connected works in the Galerie Sud, the terraces of the museum's fifth floor and the Atelier Brancusi garden. Laying out an open time line in the space, which goes from 1887 to 2058 and broadens the limit of the retrospective, the exhibition Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster. 1887–2058 combines different centuries and climates. Starting in the late 19th century, it moves through the experiences of the 20th and projects viewers into landscapes and interiors in turn tropical or desert like, biographical or imaginary.

This combination of parallel realities and staged sets—where the genres of landscape, portrait and period rooms coexist—becomes a fictional house with numerous entrances, constructed to question exterior and interior, absence and presence, identity and ction, the present moment and the exploration of time.

 

Sometimes stages, sometimes playgrounds, sometimes introspective narratives, the rooms, films and appearances of Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster bring to life all kinds of cinematographic, literary and scientific presences, like an opera or musical, to create a world inhabited by sensations, stories and quotations. 

Search