LAURENT GRASSO’S FILMS, SCULPTURES, INSTALLATIONS, PAINTINGS AND PHOTOGRAPHS IMMERSE THE VIEWER IN A SUPERNATURAL WORLD OF UNPREDICTABILITY. FASCINATED BY THE WAY IN WHICH VARIOUS FUNCTIONS CAN INFLUENCE HUMAN CONSCIENCE, TRIES TO EMBRACE AND REVEAL THE INVISIBLE. GRASSO USES LIGHT AS AN INSTRUMENT OF REFLECTION AS IT APPEARS IN NATURE, BUT ALSO AS A VERY STRONG COMMUNICATOR IN HIS ARTWORKS.
Ranging from collective fears to politics, through electromagnetic or paranormal phenomenon, the artist exposes what lies behind the commonly perceived and offers us a new perspective on history and reality. RedMilk had a talk with the artist.
“Whatever happens in the world is real, what one thinks should have happened is projection. We suffer more from our fictitious illusion and expectations of reality” (Jacque Fresco). What is illusion and reality to you?
The reality is a very open and relative concept. We tend to think it is a universal territory which is equally and similarly shared by everyone, but actually, the way we perceive things is really singular and personal. I am interested in theories that challenge our idea of what reality is, such as string theory or quantum physics and their redefinition of time and space. I am also fascinated by the incursion of natural disasters in our everyday life and the way in which they brutally reshuffle the cards of common reality.In a word, I see reality as resulting from the collision between what we observe and our state of mind.
What is the mission of language in your neon artworks?
Language is one of the many mediums I use in my work. All the neons use different semantic stylistic devices, such as the oxymoron. For example, Memories of the future or Future Archeology are like conceptual haikus concentrating the meaning of a project.
Do you ever listen to music while creating art? If so, which artists are inspiring you?
I listen to music only when I’m running…, otherwise, I find music too invasive, I prefer silence! But I do work a lot with musicians for my film projects. Recently I have collaborated with Nicolas Godin from Air for my film Elysée. I love soundtracks in movies, I find them hypnotizing. Music, in conjunction with moving image, is for me the strongest tool to mesmerize the viewer. I have also developed projects related to sound, and more specifically to its immaterial aspects: frequencies and ultra basses are invisible, and yet, they can have a very physical impact.
While you were presenting “Solar Wind”, the Administration Trump announces that will cut research funding for the wind and solar power and redirect money to fossil fuels. Thoughts?
When I first read your question, I thought you were talking about the White House plan to prevent the effects of solar storms on earth. Solar Wind is a site-specific installation translating into light, color, and motion, data provided by different laboratories studying the activity of the sun. Eventually, this activity could expand to such extent it could generate on earth solar, magnetic, storms. I am interested in the collective fear this kind of potential event is provoking. Actually, solar storms’ effects on Earth are not only a hypothesis, they already have had a very concrete impact. For example in 1989, when the province of Quebec, Canada suffered an electrical power blackout caused by a solar storm.
You are fascinated by the way in which various powers can affect human conscience. How is your relationship with media?
I think the main media today is the visual and factual collage generated by Facebook or Instagram. It is really difficult to tell fake news from real news. The general public starts to understand how politicians today use not only traditional media, but also social networks, forums, blogs – any source that could influence us. I feel we are a bit lost facing all this spectrum of information.
Interview by Lorenzo Sabatini
Photos courtesy of the artist
Official Website www.laurentgrasso.com