Rainier Lericolais


April 26 - May 31, 2014

galerie frank elbaz, Paris

View of the exhibition Fossiles, galerie frank elbaz, Paris, 2014

The artistic and musical 20th century is the century of the avant-garde but moreover of almost daily inventions of new technologies of recording and transmitting sound (from vinyl disc to MP3 file via magnetic tape). But the industry and the economy of those technologies (such as the art market) are living off from their rapid and planned obsolescence : what we love today will tomorrow be denigrated in order to be rediscovered with enthusiasm next week (all the while being forgotten the time of a weekend). 

And digital gadgets of every day usage will be obsolete and unusable as soon as the day after tomorrow. Rainier Lericolais is an artist in love with techniques, recordings and aesthetic experiences of an epoch not so distant but already revolved. A time when objects were placed on photographic paper and then passed through the photographic developer in order to make an image, a time when one drew graphic scores that freed themselves from the traditions of musical notation, a time when one made animation films from a sequence of geometric patterns. The artist updates those techniques and creates an aesthetic link between the various works in his exhibition: abstraction and representation of sound. For its fourth presentation at the frank elbaz gallery — and in connection with the installation of his works in the new presentation of the MAC/VAL — Rainier Lericolais sets up sculptures in which audio media (from the cassette tape to the CD via the MiniDisc) have left fossils’ prints in materials attacked by acetone. He adds, on the walls, series of pictures titled "reverse glass paintings" and reminiscent of rayograms1 , schadographs2 , cyanotypes3 and other photograms4 of the last century. 

Finally he builts a cabinet of graphic arts, as a tribute to El Lissitzky, in which he presents a series of works as varied as lectures and updates of the visual experiments of the early 20th century. But we should not get fooled by the images that we think we know: they were all produced with current means (a mobile phone, polystyrene, a used balalaïka) and the artist's work goes through a technological update. Between fascination for the avant-garde’s aesthetic of the 20s and offbeat humor on the 80s technology, it produces negative prints and fossils’ traces which, casually, are mostly large sound abstractions. 

Thibaut de Ruyter