For this show, Cyprien Gaillard has created two bodies of sculptural works that explore notions of regeneration, ruination, and decay, turning his eye to the relationship between evolution and erosion.
According to the curatorial proposition, inspiration for the exhibition title came from a series of mural slogans used to conceal a raw building site, home of the future performing arts center in Beverly Hills. Intended as a playful tag suggesting the inconvenience caused by ongoing construction as being an experience worth enduring, the slogan struck Gaillard as ironic. As a Dickensian universe connotes poverty, hardship, and ruin, Gaillard thought that the message, rather than suggesting progression and growth, hinted at a reversion to darker times. The works that Gaillard has created for the exhibition evoke this contradiction, inviting viewers to consider the ways in which our vision of progress simultaneously leads us back toward a more dismal landscape and unyielding reality.
Taken together, these two series of works reflect Gaillard's longstanding interest in artifact and preservation. Though the excavator heads on view on the first floor and the magazines, on view on the gallery's second floor, were both once lively tools used by people for creation and learning, they now stand as objects frozen in time – still relics that reflect a dystopian vision of our society.
Cyprien Gaillard was born in Paris and lives and works in Berlin and New York.
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