Urban Spree Galerie Berlin presents Gérard Rancinan’s new series of photographs, «The Destiny of Men » from May 13th to May 29th, 2016.
French acclaimed contemporary photographer and visual artist Gérard Rancinan teamed with author Caroline Gaudriault to produce a series of large format photographs conceived as post-apocalyptic « tableaux vivants ».
“Modern Man can be seen as a post-apocalyptic angel, at once Messenger and Punk Demiurge.”
For Rancinan and Gaudriault, Berlin and Urban Spree represent a perfect communion where his monumental photographs become incarnated, where context and situation add a new dimension to his corpus of works, where decadence and redemption linger in unexpected corners.
After being exhibited in the Accademia delle Arti e del Disegno di Firenze in March 2016 in close vicinity with the Renaissance painters, « The Destiny of Men » at Urban Spree will highlight and reveal a much darker and contemporary vision of the series. Berlin, city of chaos and ruins, city of feast and decadence, is a perfect contextual location for the post-punk dark angels of Rancinan.
Rancinan will also specially produce for the show a monumental 9 x 13 m photograph, affixed outdoor on the Urban Spree « Artist Wall » facing Warschauer Str.
Gérard Rancinan and Caroline Gaudriault have since many years compared their views on the times in which they live. After working together on several different projects, they deliver their new vision of society and its contemporaries with The Destiny of Men.
No one can escape their nature, but everyone can surpass it. How can we challenge human destiny? It is this question that humanity has, over the course of its evolution, tirelessly attempted to answer.
If we had to represent the immaterial part of Man – his thought, his desire for elevation and self-transcendence, his very curiosity, that intangible essence handed down from one person to another, from a parent to her child, or from a teacher to his pupil – we would, perhaps, look to an ancient iconographical tradition from the Byzantine era, the symbology of the angel. This anthropomorphic representation, which dates back to the mosaics of Saint Sophia in Constantinople, to the “heaven bound” angels of Giotto and to those of Michelangelo freed from a block of marble, has always exerted a great fascination on artists.
With Rancinan, it is always a question of symbolic Man and his fantasies, of his transcendence and transgressions. There is never any angelic moralizing. Man is no choirboy; he has written his history through the force of his ambition and curiosity. He has invented botany, built libraries, seen the Earth from afar, landed a spacecraft on a comet 510 million kilometers from home. All of this is true, even if people still ask the eternal question – how should we raise a child?
Fourteen monumental photographs by Gérard Rancinan and a calligraphic installation by Caroline Gaudriault propose a modern interpretation of the symbology of the angel.
In April 2016, Gérard Rancinan shot an exceptional series of photographs directly at Urban Spree. Entitled “The Destiny of Men Part II”, the new series will be displayed in other parts of Urban Spree.
A post-apocalyptic angel who combines several different principles: good and evil, ethics and progress, the spiritual and the intellectual. An angel who questions, now more than ever, the meaning that should be given to human history.
Program of the Opening Night
Friday, May 13th
07.00pm – Preview of the exhibition Destiny of Men, Part I
08.05pm – Performance by the dancer Sean
08.15pm – Preview of the exhibition The Destiny of Men, Part II, as a worldwide
exclusivity With a performance by Hugo and Yeta
09.30pm – Video-mapping performance by the artist Stefan Ihmig, member of the RE:SORB artistic group, on the photography “The Party is Over” by Gérard RANCINAN, which was printed at an extraordinary large scale (app. 9mx12m).
09.45pm – Screening of the artistic film “Scarcity of Miracle” created by RANCINAN and Caroline Gaudriault
11.00pm – Concert – Mirco Magnani: “Decompositio Sonata no.3”
– DJ Luna Vassarottide
– Dj Pre Op trans
Exhibition: May 14th to May 29th, 2016
Tuesday to Saturday, 12:00 to 19:00
Urban Spree Galerie
Gérard Rancinan is an internationally renowned photographer and visual artist. He started his career in photojournalism, joining the Sygma press agency in 1973 and won six World Press Photo Awards during his career.
His portraits of leading personalities (Fidel Castro, Pope John Paul II, François Mitterrand, Monica Bellucci, Tiger Woods, Yasser Arafat, Bill Gates, etc.) and his photographic “sagas” describing major societal developments have been published on the front pages of magazines like Paris Match, Life Magazine, Stern, The Sunday Times Magazine… In his artistic projects, he usually collaborates with writers, journalists, thinkers, sociologists, anthropologists and philosophers (Caroline Gaudriault, Virginie Luc, Paul Virilio, Francis Fukuyama etc.).
With his expressionist photography cast as the transposition of a perspective on our times, Gérard Rancinan is increasingly recognized both internationally and in the contemporary art market. He is known, above all, for his monumental photographs.
His photograph, “Batman Girls”, sold for a record price in London in May 2012 at the auction house, Philip de Pury. The sale of Rancinan’s “The Feast of the Barbarians” by the Étude Pillon in Versailles on May 18, 2014 – achieved the highest price of any living French photographer.
His photographic works are present in the world’s leading collections of contemporary art as well as featured in solo and group exhibitions in the world’s most prestigious museums (Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, Couvent des Cordeliers, National Portrait Gallery in London, Himalayas Art Contemporary Museum in Shanghai, Le Louvre-Lens, Pinault Foundation, Museo Oscar Niemeyer in Curitiba, Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon, Danubiana Contemporary Museum of art of Bratislava, Les Abattoirs in Toulouse, Triennale di Milano, Gemeentemuseum den Haag, Palais de Tokyo, MACBA (Barcelona)…
Caroline Gaudriault has published a dozen literary books and essays in French, most of which have been translated into English and, more recently, Chinese.
Caroline Gaudriault contextualizes the thought underpinning the artistic approach that she develops with Gérard Rancinan. In addition to her editorial work, she interviews and works with contemporary thinkers (the philosopher, Francis Fukuyama, Cardinal Barbarin), inviting them to contribute to the process of creation of the duo’s editorial projects.
As a journalist, she has worked for the print press (Le Figaro), as well as for international magazines (Time, Paris-Match, The Sunday Times Magazine, Stern, etc.).
She is the editor of the opinion website, Zigzag-blog
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