Edouard Malingue Gallery Until Jun 16
This aptly titled exhibition by French artist Laurent Grasso is a laboratory of pseudo imageries that tests the limit of paranormal beliefs and visual associations. The wide selection of works chosen from the artist’s 10-year practice includes the recent silkscreen series Retroprojection (2012) and a revisitation of Radio Ghost (2003), first shown in Hong Kong during Le French May in 2004.
Studies into the past, a body of undated paintings that mimics the visual and workmanship of works from the Italian Renaissance period, sets off the viewing path in the show. Intricately grounded within the notion of time and science, the painted works depict surreal settings of encountering inexplicable phenomena in ancient times. Given the premise that the series was not executed by the artist, whether intended or not, the meticulous craftsmanship of the works has arguably extended itself beyond the verge of the concept.
Amid the redundant flow of paintings in the room, a tiny futuristic television set showcasing the video Psychokinesis (2008) turns out to be one of the most intriguing works from the show, featuring a stylistically simple animation of a boulder – another constant motif in Grasso’s works – hanging in mid-sky and slowly dropping to the ground of a bare landscape.
Considering that Grasso’s multimedia works are best known to dabble into the paradoxical and scientific, especially when filtered through the inter-mingling of sounds and visuals, it is a disappointment to note that some of the artist’s most iconic video and installation works are missing from this exhibition, his first in Asia since 2003. Instead, the space is largely anchored and unnecessarily dominated by two series of painted works that struggle to fully represent the artist’s fascination with optic possibilities.