Cyprien Gaillard

The Lake Arches (2007–22)

Cyprien Gaillard’s video is a short, sharp loop enacting the aesthetic violence routinely found in a landscape after modernism. Two young men dive into a lake on a hot day, only to instantly stand up in the shallow water, one of them with a bloody nose and in visible pain. The camera reveals that the lake is part of a postmodern housing complex that today looks more and more like a huge, dysfunctional stage set, falling into ruin.

Cyprien Gaillard (1980, Paris, France) is an artist working across a range of media including film, video, photography, collage, installation, and live performance. Concerned with the wreckage of modernity and the intersections between human artifacts, urban geography, and psychology, Gaillard rearranges history to shed new light on the present. Recent solo exhibitions took place at Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2022); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2021); and Tank Shanghai (2019). Gaillard has participated in the Venice Biennale (2019 and 2011); the Gwangju Biennale (2010); and the Berlin Biennale (2008), among others. He lives in Berlin.

Courtesy of the artist and Sprüth Magers

Video, 1:39 min.

Church of Ruined Modernity
Group exhibition

Courtesy of the artist and Sprüth Magers