For Tania Gheerbrant, the camera and set design are as important as the script and protagonists of her projects. Whether through performance, installation, video or publication, the ‘set’ is meticulously constructed, allowing the living to express itself freely and for the unconscious to emerge. Bound by language and its diverse forms of existence and expression, Gheerbrant interrogates our modes of interaction as clues to the mechanisms underlying thought, and consequently, knowledge production. Influenced by the history of cinema, the artist extends this exploration of underlying logics of construction to the making of her works, unveiling the ‘behind-the-scenes’ and its use of machinery, illusion, trickery and accident.
For prologue, Tania Gheerbrant creates a new video installation that looks at the connection between real time, recorded time, and the relationships between video and performance. Conceived as filmed performances, the video works of Tania Gheerbrant are always realised between a group of friends who open the door to their intimate world. In this new work, the protocol invites the protagonists to restage words already written and recorded. Through this exchange in monologues, where performers are no more than incarnations of voice, Gheerbrant questions our relationship to each other and to ourselves in a contemporary world where the smartphone reigns supreme. This concern is highlighted in the set filled with foam, a soft space in which this group of individuals is sprawled around two sculptural table-fountains – drinking from their continuous and infinite flows. Referencing the idea of political nonchalance, ease and stagnation within commonplace, the pulmonary quality of the foam, evokes as well the contrasting, infinite plurality of universes rather than a single one – asking us to approach the universe on an atomic level. From the singular to the universal, Gheerbrant attempts to dissect our ways of being and surviving in the world – including how to find one’s place – considering liquidity, multiplicity, and revelation in political, social or psychological terms.
Graduating from Beaux-Arts de Paris in 2017, Tania Gheerbrant had recently presented her work In Plano, Île-Saint-Denis (2019); the Other Art Fair, Turin (2018), Palais Bondy, Lyon (2018); FIB – Festival Internationale de Bagnolet (2018); La panacée, Montpellier (2019) Espace Delrue, Nantes (2017). Tania Gheerbrant is the president of the artist-run-space In plano and was co-founder du Praticable in Rennes.
Image: Tania Gheerbrant, Smooth Evolution, exhibition view FOMOSAPIENS, cur. Hotel Triki, Palais Bondy, Lyon, 2018 © Tania Gheerbrant / Courtesy the artist.