06 March 2016

Heritage: Wrecks

Opening tomorrow, Monday, March 7, at LEA26, is Wrecks (or Épaves) by Gem Preiz, the second and final part of his installation Heritage that opened with Vestiges in January (read more here). Each of the artist's signature massive fractal images — thousands of pixels wide — are stitched together using a grid of prims to create an experience of tremendous depth and detail (images excerpted in the second and third images in this post). In the case of Wrecks, the fractals demonstrate considerable variety, suggesting futuristic scenes in space, cities, a cave, and other environments.

A narrative theme runs through Wrecks that focuses on the ecology of the planet, and is presented in a series of science fiction-like diary or logs entries (displayed as French and English wall text as seen in the top and bottom images in this post). In his artistic statement about the exhibition, Gem asks, "What shall we bequeath to our successors? What future do we prepare for them? The question becomes more and more a concern, after the conference of Paris on the climate, and in the first years of a 21st century which as the formers, begins with deadly confrontations."

"I have a very general sense of the kind of result (spiky, curvy, fragmented, compact, obviously repetitive or not, full of holes, square, etc.) and also the level of details I introduce — extremely detailed, almost not," said Gem as we discussed his work process to create the fractals. "Then I react on the result, and go in further on details, zooming in on this or that, changing angles and framing. And at last, when I catch a picture that is evocative for me, I work on the color palette and all the visual effects (melting of colors, fog and so on) — just as if you were climbing a hill without almost knowing what you'll see on the other side." Gem strongly recommends use of the music stream that accompanies the installation, which will remain on display through June.

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