lamontagne

Reality, perception, constructions, fictions

lightscapes

Avenue Louise 335
1050 Brussels
Belgium

November 18th 2016 – January 19th 2017
(now extended until January 26th 2017)
Tue — Sat 11 pm – 6 pm
Joanie Lemercier is an artist of depth. He is the eye which goes beyond the surface, digs down and questions the mystery behind reality. Mystery which he reveals to the public in his own fashion. Active since the mid-2000s, this co-founder of the visual label AntiVJ, is an artist of space and of light who works on our perception of reality and his understanding through immersive works which question the intimate and the transcendent.

What is reality? A timeless question which enlivens – and has enlivened – the reflections of prominent people as divers as the billionaire Elon Musk, Plato, Stephen Hawking, the science writer Philip K. Dick, or the Wachowski brother and sister at the origin of the Matrix triology. No single reality exists, but rather as many realities as there are individuals in the world. And is it not the artist who is best placed to propose a vision both singular and subject to interpretation ?At the crossroads of philosophical preoccupations, but also those, esthetic and theoretical, of contemporary art, Joanie Lemercier gives us with Lightscapes, a panorama of simulated realties and disturbing artificial landscapes.Moving from room to room, we discover the declensions of a particular imaginary, a particular obsession, that of mathematical and abstract modelling of the world, dear to Escher or Vasarely.
Here, repetitions, variations, motives, are the supports for the creation of generative works behind which one cannot deny the importance of coding and of programming. Inspite of this, Lightscapes can undoubtedly be seen as an attempt by the artist to draw close to the real, to enter into the sphere of the intimate. From the macroscopic scale to the microscopic scale, the motifs which animate the different works proposed here are pretexts for questioning the validity of our perception.

These algorithmic landscapes harness volumes and scale as a playground for perception : is what one sees from afar the same thing as one sees from close up ?Within these questions about the omnipresence of geometry in nature (from the structure of the atom to the fractals, like minerals, produced by plants) the artist engages in a dialogue with the mathematical nature of the real : organic, geological, algorithmic. We’ve come a full circle.Obvious preoccupations, for an artist who has taken an interest in the physical dimension of light (distortion, deterioration, recovery) as well as in its physiological appearance (visual ergonomy, trompe-l’oeil, mise en abîme) since the beginning of his career.In works which are sometimes extremely realistic, Joanie Lemercier renders visible the invisible structure of the world. He insists on the paradox which enables cohabitation between an aesthetic, which one would think was produced by artificial intelligence, and the relationship with the intimate, with physical memory.

Sensitive work, which resonates within us, and which we appropriate above and beyond these questions.

Maxence Grugier

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Plotter Drawing n°139 / 140 / 138 / 159 / 161 / 164

2016
drawing on paper made by a robot
29 x 42 cm

In his new plotter drawing series, Joanie explores the capacities of a drawing machine.
Creating visuals with repetitive patterns, complex and detailed compositions, the use of a robot will reveal mechanical glitches coming from the machine, wear and ink glitches coming from the pen, crashes and unfinished lines coming from the custom software.The drawings are not perfect and so original shapes emerge from artefacts.

See the full archive.

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Montagne, cent quatorze mille polygones, 2016

print on paper
video projection
custom mapping software
492 x 260cm (custom size)
edition 1/6

This piece depicts a large valley surrounded by mountain peaks. In fact, what we see is just a grid mesh, distorted by an algorithm. The procedural landscape questions the connection between nature and code, what if our reality could be recreated, simulated with mathematical functions.A layer of projected light bring shadows, and bring the illusion of depth and blurs our sense of distance. Days, nights, seasons bring life to the wallpaper landscape, distorting our perception of time and space.

 

Wireframe mountain, 2016

4k monitor
97 x 56cm
edition 1/6

A contemplative journey across the generative landscape depicted in “la montagne”. Motion and perspective brings a different sense of scale, details and space. Despite the minimal monochrome wireframe aesthetics inherited from earliest videogames, the viewer might perceive details in rocks, erosion, sand valleys, all made from a single line of code.

 

Point Cloud, 2016

silkscreen print on paper
59 x 49 cm
edition 2/12

Lemercier’s obsession in representing natural lanscapes was held down by current computers ability to model reality: the inner structure of clouds being one of the most challenging to recreate with software, many of his attempts to represent skies with digital tools fell flat.
During a flight above the Alps, the artist captured real clouds with ideal lighting conditions, and
used a “weighted Voronoï ” algorithm to transform them into a monochrome screen-print. The reduced amount of dots gives a sense of volume, transparency and particles density that our computer models would fail to preserve.

 

Tesselate, 2015

marker pen wall drawing
video projection
custom mapping software
300 x 340 cm
edition 1/6

Tesselate is a scalable and adaptable piece, also part of the Wall drawing series.It shows a polygonal shape using the anamorphosis “hot spot” to give the public the impression it is coming out of the wall / building.

The geometric volume comes to life thanks to a quiet and ambiant projection loop.

  

Motif 232 Octaèdres & Motif 218 Cubes, 2015

direct print on dibond
video projection
custom mapping software
100 x 60 cm
edition 1/6

This series consists of regular, repetitive patterns formed by simple geometric shapes, with a soft shading to highlight the structural qualities of the compositions.

A layer of light is applied to the surface of the print, creating shadows and bringing depth to the flat print, extruding volumes, turning negative shapes into three dimensional objects. The motif series are the continuation of Joanie’ light canvas series, focusing mostly on optical illusions and showing how the audience perception can be deceived, which questions the very nature of perception and the notion of reality.
These works are inspired by the body of work of Victor Vasarely and the research on OP art from the GRAV.

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LC4, 2014

drawing on fine art paper
video projection
custom mapping software
78 x 99 cm
edition 2/2

A tiny planet made of thousands of dots, this hand drawn piece is the first from the “stippling” series: black dots are layed on paper, with variation in size and density, to create gradients, and various levels of gray when seen from a distance.The polygonal planet is augmented with a layer of projected light: comets, stars, moons or suns, reveal the triangular structure of the minuscule world.

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Star Chart, 2015

modified screen
UV print on screen
40 x 40 cm
edition 1/6

This new piece was developed in August 2016 while Lemercier was working on a new project in Kanazawa, Japan.It draws it’s inspiration through ancient Japanese’s star charts from the Edo era.

Patterns emerge between the stars offering a new imaginary arrangement of constellations.

 

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PANTHEISM, 2016

direct print on dibond
video projection
custom mapping software
edition 1/6
140 x 200 cm

This piece is part of the Wall drawing series, installations where a visual is drawn directly onto the wall and augmented with a layer of projected light and ambient sound.
The visual is composed of straight lines, and repetitive patterns that represents structure of landscapes, rocks, planets, caves, made out of simple patterns, moiré, tessellated patterns.
It plays with light, depth and visual perception, this series is strongly Inspired by Sol Lewitt’s wall drawings.
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