until 11.06. | #0518ARTatBerlin | Galerie mehdi chouakri shows from 29th April 2016 the exhibition “bright phase, dark phase” by the artist Philippe Decrauzat.
On the occasion of Gallery Weekend Berlin, Mehdi Chouakri is pleased to present its second
exhibition of Philippe Decrauzat. The artist has envisioned a large-scale installation consisting of a
new architecture, a wall work spanning the entire gallery space, a film, and paintings. He continues
his exploration of the mechanisms of vision by camouflaging the entirety of the walls with a blackand-white
checkerboard. Applied on partitions that shape new paths in the gallery, the repeated
pattern is either blown up or minimized through changes of scale, immersing the beholder in an
environment of visual distraction.
The exhibition opens with the film 20 Figures, a two-channel projection on screens mirroring each
other in the first room. Decrauzat observes a cup of coffee in close up, recording the hot liquid
spiraling, bubbling, foaming, and, indeed, building hypnotic abstract landscapes projected onto grey
monochrome canvases. In the process, perception is slowly enveloped by the black void, switching
back and forth between different scales – microscopic and macroscopic – reflected by the
synchronized double projection of the same film. Like the checkerboard, Decrauzat uses
the surface of the coffee as a sort of déjà vu mental space, taking this close-up as the ultimate
In the second room, the artist’s paintings of the same checkerboard in different gradations are
hung as such that the works are interwoven into the architecture. The paintings gently fade from
black to white or vice versa, mixing in subtle shades of grey that dim the stark contrast. These
shifts in black on black and white on white evoke states of transition, sources of light, or even the
act of erasure. The checkerboard is not only a timeless pattern (used widely from antiquity to the
avant-gardes), but also a physiological image that belongs to subjective visual phenomena generated
by the eye under certain stimulations, as revealed by the scientist J.E. Purkinje in the 19th century.
That is, it is the starting point of possible images, both real and virtual, as it is potentially present in
our retina and as the neutral background in imaging softwares.
Transformed into an oversized chessboard, the gallery then becomes a hybrid, neither white cube
nor dark cinema: Decrauzat’s installation merges both concepts into a room for projection. Like a
screen that continuously shifts from one backdrop to another, the artist invites the beholder into
an unexpected field of vision beyond abstraction and reality that flattens the film, the paintings, and
the architecture onto the same plane.
Philippe Decrauzat (b. 1974, Lausanne, Switzerland) lives and works in Paris. His works have been
recently exhibited at Le Plateau FRAC Île-de-France, Paris (2015), Le Magasin – Centre National
d’Art Contemporain, Grenoble (2014), Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris (2014), Museum of Modern
Art, New York (2013) and MUAC – Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City
(2013), among others. Parallel to Gallery Weekend Berlin, they are also on view at the Kunsthalle
Wien, Vienna, in the group show “The Promise of Total Automation” (March 11 – May 29, 2016).
Vernissage: Friday, 29th April 2016, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Exhibition period: Friday, 29th April to Saturday, 11th June 2016
ATTENTION! Special Opening hours during Gallery Weekend Berlin:
Fr, 29.04. 6-9 p.m.
Sa, 30.04. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Su, 01.05. 1 a.m.-7 p.m.
Image caption: Philippe Decrauzat – via Galerie Mehdi Chouakri
Exhibition Philippe Decrauzat – Mehdi Chouakri – Kunst in Berlin ART at Berlin