Light as a medium, Space as a canvas
Joanie Lemercier (b. 1982) is a French visual artist and environmental activist whose work explores human perception through the manipulation of light in space. Working primarily with light projection and computer programming, Lemercier transforms the appearance of everyday objects and forms, bending reality to his imagination. His work transcends the flat surface, extending dimensionality through the interplay of light and shadow on materials such as wood, glass, paper, ceramics, textiles and water.Lemercier was first introduced to the process of creating art on a computer at agefive by attending classes on pattern design for fabrics that were taught by his mother. This early education grounded his interest in physical structures: geometry, patterns, and minimalistforms. As Lemercier’s work evolved, he began to explore these elements throughthe physics and philosophy of how light can be used to alter perceived reality.
Much of Lemercier’s practice is inspired by nature and reflects onthe representation of the natural world through mathematics, science, and technology. Abstract environments rendered as refined grids, lines, shadows, and volumes give way to majestic landscapes assembled from these same minimalist forms. In recent years,Lemercier has become increasingly concerned with climate change and environmental degradation, lending his projection skills and artistry to activist causes and groups such as Extinction Rebellion, meticulously tracking and publishing his studio’s carbon footprint, and supporting initiatives like #CleanNFT to encourage other digital artists to reduce their own environmental impact. His latest video installation, The Hambach forest and the Technological Sublime, premiered at Fundación Telefónica in 2021 on the occasion of the artist’s first major solo show, looks at the devastating effects of coal mining on one of Europe’s oldest forests.
Lemercier has been working with projected light since 2006 and co-founded the acclaimed visual label AntiVJwith artists Yannick Jacquet, Romain Tardy and Olivier Ratsi in 2008.He has been represented by a New York based gallery since 2010.Focusing his practice on installations and gallery work, he has been exhibited around the globe in institutions such as the China Museum of Digital Art in Beijing, Art Basel Miami, Sundance Film Festival, Espacio Fundación Telefónica in Madrid and collaborated with several sound artists: Murcof, Flying Lotus and JayZ.Since founding his creative studio in Brussels in 2013, Lemercier hasbeen developing ever more ambitious installations, gallery pieces, and research experiments that expand the creative possibilities of projected light in space. In recent years, he has sought to completely dematerialize the projection surface, working withtransparent materials and water mist.
Since 2015, the studio is now based in Brussels, Belgium, and ran by Juliette Bibasse.