Galerie Eric Mouchet is pleased to participate for the first time to Loop Barcelona, from 19 to 21 November 2019, with the artist Louis-Cyprien Rials presenting the video Mogadishu.
Louis-Cyprien Rials’ video work has garnered a great deal of visibility in recent years, not least thanks to its elliptical and suggestive – in the noble, non-sensational sense of the term – character: his films, all of which address violence, are anything but exhibitionist. They evoke rather than explain or demonstrate, and invite one to uncover and assimilate. Essentially, they are an invitation to exercise one’s intelligence. Unseen, Rials films the unimaginable lurking beneath apparently peaceful landscapes: scenes of desolation, everyday urban landscapes and buildings severed from their original purpose and history. His films are punctuated by a rhythm and/or soundtrack that renders the unseen at the very least disturbing, and sometimes immediately unbearable. When one scratches at the surface of the disturbing and queries what pushed the artist to film such everyday scenes, one comes into contact with the unbearable.
Louis-Cyprien Rials’ work favours landscapes that figure on no map in countries that remain unnamed: these are places and lands whose very existence is denied by the international community, places that have been ravaged by such atrocities and exactions that only ruins, ashes and desolation remain. Using the filter of landscape, Rials seeks to evoke the peregrinations of humanity. He is no reporter, however, since while he’s constantly seeking for evidence, his work features neither witness testimony nor any form of analysis of the catastrophes he observes; the invitation instead is to investigate the causes outside the framework of his films.
Mogadishu video was born of the artist’s desire to visit one of the most beautiful beaches in the world in one of the world’s most dangerous countries. The Mogadishu region with its deserted paradise beaches of fine white sand is an economic paradox in the eyes of our leisure-based societies and a hell-on-earth for its inhabitants. Somalia is a crucible of human violence and testing ground of permanent war, ravaged for the past thirty years by civil war and more recently by the terrorist depredations of Al-Shabab. The French foreign ministry formally warns French citizens against travel to Somalia owing to the “extremely high risk of terrorist attacks, kidnapping, and homicide.”