Hammer Projects: Cyprien Gaillard

Hammer Projects: Cyprien Gaillard

Cyprien Gaillard's work manifests in a variety of forms from videos and photographs to collages and sculptures. In his work, he reflects upon meanings and memories of monuments and landscapes that have been erased and replaced by the effects of time and social and cultural transformation. The artist investigates time and historical remembrance as demonstrated in forgotten monuments, wrecked ruins, and artifacts. During his residency at the Hammer, Gaillard traveled around California discovering hidden ruins, destroyed landscapes and other remnants of the recent past. This exhibition will feature an installation of recent sculpture and a series of photographs produced during his residency at the Museum.

Hammer Projects: Cyprien Gaillard is organized by Ali Subotnick, Hammer curator.

Hammer Projects: Cyprien Gaillard. Installation view at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. April 20 -August 4, 2013. Photo by Robert Wedemeyer.

Biography


Essay

By Ali Subotnick

In his mesmerizing films, videos, collages, sculptures, and photographs, the French artist Cyprien Gaillard confronts the many contradictions of the built environment. Part twenty-first-century land artist, part amateur archaeologist/anthropologist, Gaillard has explored landscapes and cities, presenting subjects that include modernist tower blocks, Mayan ruins, brutalist resorts, and neglected urban spaces such as corporate plazas and train tunnels, as well as the often overlooked everyday ruins outside our front doors. Like his forebear the legendary land artist Robert Smithson, Gaillard is interested in entropy, and the word entropic often comes up in discussions of his work. Degradation, disorder, collapse—Gaillard doesn’t just look at these phenomena, he uses them as a starting block, and from there he uncovers the unnoticed consequences of such actions. What happens after the fall, the earthquake, the flood, the hurricane, the war, and the passage of time? How do we as humans relate to the world around us after dramatic events that significantly alter the landscape? Decay, ruin, destruction, and natural disasters are all inspirations for Gaillard. Everything comes full circle, so there is no beginning and no end. 

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Hammer Projects: Cyprien Gaillard is presented through a residency at the Hammer Museum.

The Hammer Museum’s Artist Residency Program is supported through a generous grant from the Simms/Mann Family Foundation. The residency program was initiated with funding from the Nimoy Foundation and is supported through a significant grant from The James Irvine Foundation. Cyprien Gaillard’s residency also received major support from the French Cultural Services and the Flax Foundation.

Hammer Projects is a series of exhibitions focusing primarily on the work of emerging artists. 

Hammer Projects is made possible by a major gift from The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation. 
Generous support is provided by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and Susan Bay Nimoy and Leonard Nimoy.

Additional support is provided by Good Works Foundation and Laura Donnelley; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; the Decade Fund; and the David Teiger Curatorial Travel Fund.