19th February to 9th March
Opening on the 19th February at 6.00 pm
Renaud Layrac was born in 1962. He first distinguished himself within the group of artists BP which he founded, then student at Villa Arson, in 1984. Nourished by an urban culture, the group recycles products from the oil and automotive industry in devices that revisit the stereotypes of contemporary art and celebrate the end of the avant-garde and modernist utopias. BP’s works are exhibited in numerous international exhibitions and are part of the largest private and institutional collections.
The Sorbonne Artgallery, associated with Sorbonne Développement Durable, presents the exhibition Horizon d'attente by artist Renaud Layrac. It is for the latter to present a contextual panoramic polyptic designed to unfold along the nine panels present in the gallery Soufflot of the center Panthéon. It describes the continuity of a geography that unfolds from one shore to another, a rhythmic horizon of industrial constructions dedicated to the delivery or production of energy.
The images presented are made up of images retrieved from the web. Affirming this gesture of appropriation, the Before Present brand prints itself in watermark (watermark) like a copyright. Here the expression, abbreviated in BP, is used in the scientific universe as a temporal referent for carbon-14 dating. It also refers to the past of Renaud Layrac who, in the BP group and since the end of the 1980s, questioned the place of the artist in a society dominated by multinationals deaf to social and ecological issues. Before Present also says the opposition between long time, that of the planet and history, and the time of the immediacy of a contemporary world governed by speed.
Paul Virilio, interviewed in 2009 about his exhibition «What Happens» at the Cartier Foundation, said: «We lived in the conviction that we had a past and a future. But the past does not pass, it has become monstrous, to the point that we no longer refer to it. As for the future, it is limited by the ecological question, the programmed end of natural resources, like oil. The present remains to be inhabited. But the writer Octavio Paz said: «The moment is uninhabitable, like the future.» We are going through this…”. So what is our waiting horizon, where do we want to be: before or after the disaster?
Since this collaborative work ended in 2008, Renaud Layrac continues in a certain continuity, a reflection where art, author, logo and signature confront the worlds of business and communication. His sculptures and installations most often use the logic of diversion and appropriation. His images question, in the age of digital flux, our representation of the world, how to portray it, how to imagine it and understand it. He is a professor of art & scenography at the Monaco School of Fine Arts. He participates in Art&Flux (Acte Institute) of the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and is a member of the UFR board of the Sorbonne School of Arts.