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Born in 1980 in Paris, France

Coming out of Paris, in his younger years, Cyprien Gaillard explored the empty warehouse and factory areas of his hometown on a skateboard. There, with a fire extinguisher – very much in line with the Situationists he redefined these abandoned quarters and with the help of the flames, afforded them a new, unusual poetry – one that tells of the beauty of the past but also the destructive nature of industrial power.

Later, Cyprien Gaillard developed an interest in precarious, urban situations that almost involuntarily but poignantly record and formulate the contradictions of our post-industrial society architecturally in comparatively ‘art-friendly’ mediums. Painting and drawing, photography, performance and installation, even re-worked etchings are all elements in the young artist’s repertoire. But especially in his video and film works, Gaillard deliberates upon his consistent and on-going ‘mourning process’ – in a matter of speaking – in an urban context at the beginning of the 21st Century.

The video work, “Crazy Horse” (2008), which was also shown at the 5th Berlin Biennial, is typical for Cyprien Gaillard’s working process. The theme of this video is the construction of a memorial for the legendary Sioux Indian Chief, Crazy Horse, and was projected at monumental proportions on the side of a building in the Skulpturenpark in Berlin-Mitte. Symbolically the monument is located in the vicinity of Mount Rushmore. Already in 1948, the sculptor Korczak Zió?kowski began constructing the monument, and upon it’s completion, it will be one of the largest sculptures in the world. It comes at no surprise that blasting of immense magnitude are required for its completion. The grievous devastation left by the dynamite blasting - especially in a nearby national park - is the focal point of Gaillards film that is presented together with an original composition from the French opera singer and composer, Koudlam. Koudlam also accompanied Gaillard’s film, “Desniansky Raion” (2007), where the aesthetic of the 35-storey Genex Tower in Belgrade, the street fights of Russian hooligans in St. Petersburg or the demolition of a Parisian high rise are all equally highlighted.




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