Interview with Galerie Fractal
Exhibition GENERATIVE by Galerie Fractal is running from 21 December 2020 to 4 January 2021 every day from 1 pm to 7 pm. 19, rue Charlemagne 75004 PARIS.
GH: Please tell us a bit about yourself and Galerie Fractal!
I am Gabrielle Debeuret, a French Artistic Director in communication for the past 15 years.
Since 2019, I started a professional Master's degree in the Art Market, I discovered the work in a contemporary photography gallery and I wanted to set up my own exhibitions.
That's why I created Galerie Fractal in 2020, with friends also coming from the world of design and communication, for the realization of travelling exhibitions.
I went naturally towards the subjects that interest me, and that I have always followed in parallel of my professional activity, in particular digital art. I was surrounded by graphic designers, developers, motion designers... I witnessed a creative research, linked to the development of software such as Macromedia Flash, After Effect, Cinema 4D… with this experiential and creative quest linked to programing, randomness, and therefore to generative art.
From a personal point of view, I also followed a lot the electronic scene, the live experience, operating a constant link between the musical and the visual.
I would like to promote the work of its artist-researchers who experiment between art and technology.
"The basis of the creative process is the elaboration of a digital material, the capture of a virtual mutation, but which will eventually be transferred into a physical artwork. It is the creation of this materiality that particularly interests me as a gallerist."
GH: The exhibition Generative opens in Paris on December 21st. Tell us about the show!
Gabrielle: The exhibition presents the work of 8 experimental artists, who express themselves through a notion of research but also through play; they are 'serious gamers'!
(Gaia Azzi, Julien Gachadoat, Simon Kirby, Chantal Matar, Nicola Lorusso, Pierre Paslier, Simon Russel, Leandro Summo).
They play on the random factor to create works that end up having their own autonomy, in a state of instability motivated by unpredictability.
In their approach, there is a perpetual contrast between the establishment of strict rules, the rigor of the computer code, the definition of algorithms, and the chaos brought about by the random principle. It is both concrete and very poetic.
In fact, they exploit the virtual potential to reveal forms and structures that would be impossible to realize without a computer, thus creating a convergence between art and technology.
One of their common points is the experimentation around the visualization of phenomena; whether they are sound, spatial-temporal, geographical... With the basis of the capture and exploitation of data for the generation of the artworks.
They also illustrate themselves in a pure research of morphogenesis; the creation of a form assigned to a space, the repetitive games, introducing a part of unpredictability to lead to the emergence of abstract forms.
Finally, their work also allows a passage between the digital and physical world.
The basis of the creative process is the elaboration of a digital material, the capture of a virtual mutation, but which will eventually be transferred into a physical artwork.
It is the creation of this materiality that particularly interests me as a gallerist.
GH: How did the project start? Why did you choose to focus this show on generative art?
Gabrielle: The selection of the exhibition focuses in particular on generative drawings, but this reflects only part of the experimentation of the artists who work on different forms of expression; from the construction of intelligent objects and interactive works, from 3D spatial modelling to live projection…
Their field of research is vast.
However, the theme of generative drawing allows a return to the basis of the first experiments that followed the research around optical art and generative painting of the 60s (such as Victor Vasarely, Eduardo Mac Entyre), until the arrival of computers offering the possibility of graphic programming. It is interesting to see that this research was in the minds of artists at that time and that the advancement of technological possibilities helped to serve these concepts.
The particular niche of the gallery is the search for a new materiality, to diffuse digital art beyond the screens, in the service of a physical, material experience. Perhaps the relationship of the artists to tools and machines will allow this evolution (software, robots, 3D printers...).
I particularly like the idea of capturing the moment of a phenomenon, which is especially possible in generative art, where the same principle, like a matrix, can create multiple variations. Or in 3D, where you can multiply the points of view.
GH: The generative art scene is thriving on social media but is still relatively absent from the more established art world. Why do you think that is?
Gabrielle: It's not been a long time since I started studying the market, but I have noticed that there may be a blockage to consider digital art to its own value, as equal to another type of creation such as painting for example.
Also, it is the very system of the art gallery that is being challenged by the digital world.
Artists can communicate and sell live, which is cool because it allows them a wide distribution and a large audience, but it can tend to devalue their work.
To remain an intermediary, a gallery must therefore simultaneously propose exclusive content, do its job of mediating with the public, and get artists recognized by the market and institutions.
If we want to preserve the exhibition and the principle of a physical display to the public, there must be an interest in it. It is by showing a materiality, by creating an experience, by relating the artists' point of view, by identifying links and themes, that a gallery assumes its role as curator and mediator.
With the COVID crisis, some contemporary art galleries or fairs have digitalized their artistic events. I don't think this trend can impose itself because the exhibition is above all an experience, as well as a space for exchange and meeting. So I am convinced that it is necessary to preserve the relationship to artworks, to feel them physically, including in the case of digital installations and projections, for which the experience and the relationship to space are essential.
GH: What advice do you have for generative artists who want to have their artworks featured in galleries? Gabrielle: This is the question I ask myself as a young gallerist, why present one artist rather than another?
It may be because the work goes beyond a simple production, which can be established as a concept, a particular research, an artistic discourse. But also the constant search for different forms of expression.
For the questions of market and valuation of the works I will advise the generative artists to produce limited editions, unique pieces or exclusive series. Exactly like the principle of the photo print.
GH: What kind of reaction are you expecting from the general public? I was astonished to see that many of my relatives, for example, did not know the term 'generative art', nor the creation that results from it...
There is a work of mediation to be done to make generative art known, it is also necessary to try to federate a more knowledgeable public.
More generally, art galleries generate action, create events, and support local and international art. At this time of crisis, they represent a cultural alternative to the closure of museums.
Exhibition GENERATIVE by Galerie Fractal
From 21 December 2020 to 4 January 2021 19, rue Charlemagne - 75004 PARIS
open everyday from 1pm to 7pm http://www.galeriefractal.com/