The Middle East, non-internationally recognised countries, radioactive or forbidden zones considered as “involuntary nature parks” are all territories that Louis-Cyprien Rials has travelled through or inhabit-ed. The artist, born in Paris in 1981, uses video, photography and sculptural installations to present a silent, sometimes mystical image of these areas marked by past violence or shaken by major conflicts. His moving pictures, made up of still shots that are often long and devoid of human presence, tell of the impossibility of capturing these spaces that have been abandoned, transformed, imbued with beliefs and strewn with stigmata.
In 2004, he moved to Tokyo for several years, then to Berlin and Brussels. In 2010 and 2011 he spent long months travelling alone by motorbike to Chernobyl, then to Iraqi Kurdistan and the Republic of Na-gorno-Karabakh. In 2014, he spent several months in residence in Bahrain, then in Russia at the NCCA Kronstadt. He then spent several months in northern Iraq, where he shot his video, Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin and documented the abandoned villages on the Islamic State front line and the refugee camps between Kirkuk and Mosul, before being selected for the Emerige Revelation grant in 2015 and present-ing his first solo exhibition at the Dohyang Lee gallery in 2016, with the support of the CNAP.
In 2017, he was resident for several months in Lebanon, then at Hestia Belgrade – travelling to all the republics of the former Yugoslavia – and organised an exhibition there with Gaël Charbau, before winning the SAM prize for contemporary art. After spending seven months in East Africa, from the ghettos of Kampala in Uganda to Rwanda and Ethiopia, then to Mogadishu in Somalia, he will present a trilogy of exhibitions in spring 2019 at the Palais de Tokyo (curator: Adélaïde Blanc) and in the Eric Mouchet and Dohyang Lee galleries in Paris (curator: Aurélie Faure). In 2020 he was awarded the 1% artistic prize by the city of Paris and exhibited his project “Droptank” at the Musée d’art Moderne de la ville de Paris.
Between July 2021 and August 2023 he will be living in Iraq, between Kerbala, Babylon, Baghdad and Mosul, where he will be continuing to work on his projects and organising introductory workshops in conceptual photography and video art with the Iraqi NGO “The Station” for people taken hostage by the Islamic State.
In September 2023, he organised two solo exhibitions curated by Léo Marin at the Galerie Eric Mouchet in Paris and Brussels, and is preparing two other exhibitions at the Institut Français in Baghdad and the Fondation Le Corbusier in Paris in 2024.
In parallel with his peregrinations, he has been collecting and scrutinising stones since 2007, drawing on a body of work inherited from the preoccupations of Pliny the Elder and the Medici quattrocento, ques-tioning the perception of landscape, the concreteisation of the world and the mineralisation of hearts, while often defining the scope of his investigations and research as ranging from the “lithic to the political”.
MORE INFORMATION :
// Through the broken window (03/16-04/20/2019)
// Oyouni (09/09-10/21/2023 | Paris)
// Fondation (09/22-12/16/2023 | Brussels)