Thursday, May 9, 2019

Paris: Erwin Olaf Palm Springs

Do not miss "Erwin Olaf Palm Springs" at Galerie Rabouan Moussion in Paris, France May 18 to July 27, 2019

To mark the forty years of Erwin Olaf’s career, Galerie  Rabouan  Moussion  is  presenting  a  French  exclusive  of  his  latest  series:  Palm  Springs. This  exhibition  of  photographs  and  videos  also  celebrates  fifteen  years  of  collaboration between   the   Dutch   photographer   and   the   Paris gallery.

PALM SPRINGS CONCLUSION OF A TRIPTYCHFollowing  Berlin  (2012)  and  Shanghai  (2017),  Palm Springs concludes his triptych on changing cities.  Berlin  was  produced  at  a  time  when  dark  clouds  were  heaping  up  over  Europe  with  the  questioning of freedom of expression, democracy and  the  transmission  of  power  from  the  older  generation to the younger.In Shanghai, a hypermodern Chinese metropolis, Olaf  examines  what  happens  to  an  individual  in  the midst of 24 million people.With Palm Springs it is climate change that is at the heart of his thinking; his treatment is reminiscent of America in the 1960s.

“There are many thorns in Olaf’s California – and people  show  less  optimism  than  in  his  previous  series. Palm Springs could be the third part of a trilogy  or  the  third  series  with  a  new  tone  that  is  now Olaf’s. It is becoming increasingly clear that Erwin Olaf is no longer playing (if, that is, he ever really  was).  Berlin,  Shanghai,  Palm  Springs... all  poisoned  in  various  ways,  all  betraying  their  promise, leaving only profits – and losses.” Francis Hodgson

“Palm Springs (2018) is at once a progression (this is the first time I have photographed landscapes) and a step back. I returned to the 1960s. I love the mid-century details in Palm Springs and the stories they evoke. I had studied Gordon Park’s photos, a very different way of seeing America than that of  Norman  Rockwell.  What  interested  me  was  the  stylized  documentary.  I  wanted  to  introduce  the real world a little more. I loved all the details of  the  places  we  photographed,  for  example  a  yellowed  lawn  because  it  was  very  hot  and  dry.  My  team  was  preparing  to  spray  it  green,  but  I  preferred to leave it as it was because it was the reality of our time, where the climate is changing, while we stay in our closed communities. Reality is  creeping  into  the  paradise  we’re  desperately  trying to maintain. As a story emerged during the work and selection of photos, I began to consider this as a parable about the distribution of wealth, so  unjust  and  so  unsustainable  in  the  long  run,  between the different classes of our society.”  Erwin Olaf

“What I’d like to see in my photographs is a perfect world  with  a  crack  inside.  My  job’s  to  first  make the image attractive enough to make people want to  look  at  the  story  I  tell  them,  and  then  to  give  them a slap in the face.”  Erwin Olaf

It is no coincidence that it was with the Erwin Olaf exhibition, Waiting, that the gallery celebrated the opening  of  its  new  space  on  rue  Pastourelle  in  Paris  in  2015.  This  baptism  is  a  testimony  to  a  collaboration  going  back  almost  15  years  to  his  first exhibitionParadise, Mature and Separation, the title of his three emblematic series. Erwin Olaf has lived and worked in Amsterdam since the early ’80s.  He  was  discovered  by  the  international  art  scene with his series Chessmen, which won him first prize in the Young European Photographer contest in 1988.Since  then  he  has  explored  the  social  issues  and  taboos  of  our  society  on  issues  of  gender,  sensuality,  despair  and  grace.  After  his  major  solo  exhibition  Emotions  at  La  Sucrière  de  Lyon  in  2013,  the  2016  annual  nocturnal  arts  festival  Nuit  Blanche  marked  a  new  stage  in  the  artist’s  refined, singular career, with the realization of a site-specific work projected on the facades of the Hôtel de Ville de Paris (Paris City Hall), That Nuit Blanche allowed him to establish his reputation in France.In 2017 the gallery presented the images produced for band Indochine’s album 13, a series inspired by Henry Darger.

11, rue Pastourelle75003 Paris

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