While the Casa Wabi Foundation was being designed, the artist Loris Gréaud was contemplating burying his sculptures to create a real underground sculpture park. After some years and many meetings between the artist and the Casa Wabi Foundation, the project will finally be inaugurated next month.
Gréaud has chosen around twenty of his art pieces produced since the beginning of the 21st century. These pieces will be buried forever along the natural paths formed within the gardens designed by Alberto Kalach as a continuation of the institution architecture created by Tadao Ando.
Despite the common idea that this park will be open to visitors with an underground path enabling them to admire the artworks underground, the real sculpture park will remain hidden from the public. There will be benches – marking the anniversary date of the official opening in February – once the vegetation of the park has grown again. Visitors will be able to admire the natural landscape around them while sitting on the benches and imagining how the sculptures under them are made, in a sort of backward archaeology.
The concept – straightforward and intricate in its execution – brings in the epitome of the ghost: the artworks are invisible and at the same time physically present. Visitors are therefore encouraged to fantasize about them, picturing them in their minds and wondering whether what they see in their imagination is accurate or not. The artist’s intention is not to put an end to the sculptures but to start an exploration of their potential through people’s imagination by using this form of self-negation: what if these pieces were to be unearthed and reappear?
The Underground Sculpture Park asks us to contemplate this situation and bring our own answer: what message would be sent to the world if an artist came to conceal the vestige of their work and have it move as the constant drift of a sculpture park which would be real yet could only be accessed through people’s mind?
This concept indicates a break in the work of Gréaud as he has previously explored the question on space between art pieces with the project The Unplayed Notes (2012-2017) in order to display a spectrum of intents, narratives, whose trajectory and linking path create a whole new experience. In line with his philosophy on art since the early 2000s, Gréaud has developed a singular trajectory in the international contemporary art scene. Whereby he constructs unique environments, he places disruptive elements, often with an ambiguous narrative that blurs the boundaries between fiction and reality. Rumors, poetry, viruses, architecture and demolition, academicism and self-negation are therefore regularly summoned in his work as it strives to oppose the separation between physical and mental spaces.
In conjunction with the official opening of park, Hatje Cantz Publishing will release the catalog The Unplayed Notes / Introduction to The Underground Sculpture Park which, together with an essay by Nicolas Bourriaud, closes the seven-year-long project which travelled through many places including Paris, New York, Dallas and Venice.
More on Casa Wabi
Fundación Casa Wabi is a non-profit, civil organization that aims to promote collaboration and social commitment through art. Created in 2014 by Mexican artist Bosco Sodi, the foundation adopts its name from the Japanese concept “Wabi-Sabi,” which represents a vision of the world focused on the acceptance of the ephemeral and the imperfect. Based on this philosophy, Casa Wabi, located on the Oaxacan coast, was designed by the renowned architect Tadao Ando, looking to generate a space conducive to interaction. The Mexican architect Alberto Kalach on his side, designed the development of a 27 hectares garden, aiming to catalogue and preserve the surrounding species as well as promoting environmental education.
More on the artist
Loris Gréaud’s projects have given rise to important solo exhibitions. He was the first artist to use all the space of the Palais de Tokyo (Paris), with his project Cellar Door (2008-2011), which was further developed at the Institute of Contemporary Art (London), the Vienna Kunsthalle, the Kunsthalle St Gall (Switzerland) and at the Conservera de Murcia museum (Spain).
In 2013, the Louvre Museum and the Centre Georges Pompidou invited him to design a double exhibition that will bring the project to life [I]. In 2015, he took over all the spaces of the Dallas Contemporary (United States) with his project still at work The Unplayed Notes Museum. In 2016 he produced the project Sculpt specially for LACMA (Los Angeles) – it was his first major exhibition on the west coast of the United States. In 2017, he attracted the attention of the 57th Venice Biennale with his project The Unplayed Notes Factory in Murano (Italy).
In 2019, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art hosted Sculpt: Grumpy Bear, the Great Spinoff, the 2nd part of the LACMA show. Still in 2019, the exhibition The Original, The Translation in the Kandinsky Library of the Pompidou Center brought his whole editorial activity to light. After purchasing the artwork MACHINE in 2018, the Paris Museum of Modern Art has invited Loris Gréaud to design a specific exhibition, within the permanent collections, entitled Glorius Read, currently on view until the 9th of February 2020.
Loris Gréaud’s works are part of many public collections including the Pompidou Center’s (Paris), the LACMA’s (Los Angeles), the Paris Museum of Modern Art’s, the François Pinault’s Collection (Venice), the Louis Vuitton Foundation’s (Paris), the Israel Museum’s (Jerusalem), the Margulies Collection (Miami), the Goetz Collection (Munich), the Rubell Family Collection (Miami), the Nam June Paik Art Center’s (Korea), the Tel Aviv Museum of Art’s (Israel) and the Hirshhorn Museum’s (Washington).
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