Valéry Grancher (°1967, Toulon, France) makes conceptual artworks, paintings, photos and drawings. By rejecting an objective truth and global cultural narratives, Grancher often creates work using creative game tactics, but these are never permissive. Play is a serious matter: during the game, different rules apply than in everyday life and even everyday objects undergo transubstantiation.
His conceptual artworks question the conditions of appearance of an image in the context of contemporary visual culture in which images, representations and ideas normally function. With a conceptual approach, he seduces the viewer into a world of ongoing equilibrium and the interval that articulates the stream of daily events. Moments are depicted that only exist to punctuate the human drama in order to clarify our existence and to find poetic meaning in everyday life.
His works are often about contact with architecture and basic living elements. Energy (heat, light, water), space and landscape are examined in less obvious ways and sometimes developed in absurd ways. By exploring the concept of landscape in a nostalgic way, he absorbs the tradition of remembrance art into daily practice. This personal follow-up and revival of a past tradition is important as an act of meditation.
His works often refers to pop and mass culture. Using written and drawn symbols, a world where light-heartedness rules and where rules are undermined is created. By demonstrating the omnipresent lingering of a ‘corporate world’, he tries to approach a wide scale of subjects in a multi-layered way, likes to involve the viewer in a way that is sometimes physical and believes in the idea of function following form in a work.
His works are saturated with obviousness, mental inertia, clichés and bad jokes. They question the coerciveness that is derived from the more profound meaning and the superficial aesthetic appearance of an image. In a search for new methods to ‘read the city’, he tries to grasp language. Transformed into art, language becomes an ornament. At that moment, lots of ambiguities and indistinctnesses, which are inherent to the phenomenon, come to the surface.
His works directly respond to the surrounding environment and uses everyday experiences from the artist as a starting point. Often these are framed instances that would go unnoticed in their original context. By studying sign processes, signification and communication, he makes works that can be seen as self-portraits. Sometimes they appear idiosyncratic and quirky, at other times, they seem typical by-products of American superabundance and marketing.
He creates situations in which everyday objects are altered or detached from their natural function. By applying specific combinations and certain manipulations, different functions and/or contexts are created. By contesting the division between the realm of memory and the realm of experience, he creates with daily, recognizable elements, an unprecedented situation in which the viewer is confronted with the conditioning of his own perception and has to reconsider his biased position.
His works are an investigation into representations of (seemingly) concrete ages and situations as well as depictions and ideas that can only be realized in conceptual art. By parodying mass media by exaggerating certain formal aspects inherent to our contemporary society, he presents everyday objects as well as references to texts, painting and architecture. Pompous writings and Utopian constructivist designs are juxtaposed with trivial objects. Categories are subtly reversed.
His work urge us to renegotiate conceptual art as being part of a reactive or – at times – autistic medium, commenting on oppressing themes in our contemporary society. By investigating language on a meta-level, he focuses on the idea of ‘public space’ and more specifically on spaces where anyone can do anything at any given moment: the non-private space, the non-privately owned space, space that is economically uninteresting.
His works are characterised by the use of everyday objects in an atmosphere of middleclass mentality in which recognition plays an important role. With Plato’s allegory of the cave in mind, he makes work that generates diverse meanings. Associations and meanings collide. Space becomes time and language becomes image.
His works sometimes radiate a cold and latent violence. At times, disconcerting beauty emerges. The inherent visual seductiveness, along with the conciseness of the exhibitions, further complicates the reception of their manifold layers of meaning. By taking daily life as subject matter while commenting on the everyday aesthetic of middle class values, he makes work that deals with the documentation of events and the question of how they can be presented. The work tries to express this with the help of physics and technology, but not by telling a story or creating a metaphor.
His collected, altered and own works are being confronted as aesthetically resilient, thematically interrelated material for memory and projection. The possible seems true and the truth exists, but it has many faces, as Hanna Arendt cites from Franz Kafka. By using popular themes such as sexuality, family structure and violence, his works references post-colonial theory as well as the avant-garde or the post-modern and the left-wing democratic movement as a form of resistance against the logic of the capitalist market system.
His works demonstrate how life extends beyond its own subjective limits and often tells a story about the effects of global cultural interaction over the latter half of the twentieth century. It challenges the binaries we continually reconstruct between Self and Other, between our own ‘cannibal’ and ‘civilized’ selves. With the use of appropriated materials which are borrowed from a day-to-day context, he investigates the dynamics of landscape, including the manipulation of its effects and the limits of spectacle based on our assumptions of what landscape means to us. Rather than presenting a factual reality, an illusion is fabricated to conjure the realms of our imagination.
His works focus on the inability of communication which is used to visualise reality, the attempt of dialogue, the dissonance between form and content and the dysfunctions of language. In short, the lack of clear references are key elements in the work. By emphasising aesthetics, he touches various overlapping themes and strategies. Several reoccurring subject matter can be recognised, such as the relation with popular culture and media, working with repetition, provocation and the investigation of the process of expectations.
His works establish a link between the landscape’s reality and that imagined by its conceiver. These works focus on concrete questions that determine our existence. Valéry Grancher currently lives and works in Paris.
Wooster Goobs #he Exhibitions, Further Complicates The Reception Of Their Manifold Layers Of Meaning. By Emphasising Aesthetics, He Seduces The Viewer Into A World Of Ongoing Equilibrium And The Interval That Articulates The Stream Of Daily Events. Moments Are Depicted That Only Exist To Punctuate The Human Drama In Order To Clarify Our Existence And To Find Poetic Meaning In Everyday Life.
His Works Are Saturated With Obviousness, Mental Inertia, Clichés And Bad Jokes. They Question The Coerciveness That Is Derived From The More Profound Meaning And The Superficial Aesthetic Appearance Of An Image. By Parodying Mass Media By Exaggerating Certain Formal Aspects Inherent To Our Contemporary Society, He Tries To Create Works In Which The Actual Event Still Has To Take Place Or Just Has Ended: Moments Evocative Of Atmosphere And Suspense That Are Not Part Of A Narrative Thread. The Drama Unfolds Elsewhere While The Build-up Of Tension Is Frozen To Become The Memory Of An Event That Will Never Take Place.
His Works Are Given Improper Functions: Significations Are Inversed And Form And Content Merge. Shapes Are Dissociated From Their Original Meaning, By Which The System In Which They Normally Function Is Exposed. Initially Unambiguous Meanings Are Shattered And Disseminate Endlessly. Goobs Wooster Currently Lives And Works In Solvang.## %# Rosado Mike