Brave Old New World will be the third solo exhibition at Parker’s Box by French artist, Samuel Rousseau. Among other works, the artist will present part of a new body of work developed specifically for the exhibition during his recent residency at PointB studios in Williamsburg. The new works constitute Rousseau’s homage to the energy of New York City, and will concurrently feature as his participation as one of four nominees for the Prix Marcel Duchamp, France’s most prestigious contemporary art prize, to be presented at the Grand Palais in Paris from October 20 – 23.
While Samuel Rousseau’s practice may be unreservedly pluridisciplinary, he regularly returns to one of his most successful formulas, that of projecting images onto, or into three-dimensional volumes of vastly varying scales, placed in diverse contexts. A number of works corresponding to this technique emerge as landmarks that trace the development of the artist’s career and recognition.
On previous visits to New York, Samuel Rousseau had been struck by the feeling that the city was a huge, perhaps slightly archaic machine, nevertheless full of energy and unstoppable movement. In observing the buildings, sky-scrapers, chimneys etc. he began to see them, not only as phallic symbols of power and potency, but also as if they were pistons of this huge, living, breathing, fuming, clanking, sighing, grinding machine, constantly in action 24/7.
The title of Samuel Rousseau’s exhibition, and his latest series of works, indirectly revives the irony of Aldous Huxley’s 1932 book, while somehow situating New York in it’s evolving position in the pecking order of world cities. It was once the fresh-faced archetype of the New World in comparison to the Old World of Europe, while today it increasingly feels as if it represents the “new Old World” of aging skyscraper cities in relation to the “new New World” of sparkling skyscraper megalopolises such as Shenzhen or Chongqing. At the same time, New York’s authenticity, energy levels, and belief in itself have not diminished, an aspect that both inspired and influenced Samuel Rousseau in the realization of these new works.
Samuel Rousseau was born in Marseille, France, in 1971. He lives and works in Grenoble, France.
Notable exhibitions in 2010/11 include: the Prix Marcel Duchamp, Grand Palais, Paris; the Prix Marcel Duchamp at the Museum of Modern Art, Lille, France; ZKM, Kahlsruhe, Germany; Tinguely Museum, Basel, Switzerland; Boghossian Foundation, Brussels, Belgium; MoNA, Museum of Old and New Art, Moorilla, Australia; a retrospective at the Salomon Foundation, Alex, France; as well as solo shows at Volta New York with Aeroplastics Gallery, Brussels; Galerie Claire Gastaud, Clermont Ferrand, France; and the Centre Européen d’Actions Artistiques Contemporaines, Strasbourg, France, without forgetting the artist’s participation in the exhibition, “Skateboarding is not a crime”, at Spacejunk Art Center in his hometown of Grenoble…