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Gerard & Kelly at Carré d’Art

October 14, 2022–March 26, 2023

Ruins at Carré d’Art, the duo’s first museum survey exhibition, brings together videos, installations, works on paper, and performances from over ten years of their partnership.

In order to find inspiration for their ongoing series Modern Living, which the artists refer to as the “ruins of modernism,” Gerard & Kelly showcase work from that series as the centerpiece of Ruins. Schindler/Glass (2017), a two-channel video project shot in Philip Johnson’s Glass House in Connecticut and the Schindler House in West Hollywood, California, is on display. Both residences were created by the architects for themselves to house relationships that were as experimental as their creations. In Schindler/Glass, the modernist home serves as the backdrop for “modern” intimacies where dancers lose their rhythm, couple and separate, and eventually learn to coexist.

Shown for the first time as an installation, Panorama (2021) was shot at the Bourse de Commerce prior to the museum’s opening as the Pinault Collection. The Parisian building, originally a grain market, was transformed in the 19th century into a shrine for the glory of commerce and finance. The panoramic paintings in the rotunda, dating from 1889, are a testimony to French colonialism. Three performers of different origins and artistic backgrounds—Soa de Muse, recently seen in Drag Race France, and dancers Guillaume Diop and Germain Louvet of the Paris Opera Ballet—inhabit the empty rotunda re-designed by Tadao Ando. Scored to the music of American composer Julius Eastman, the film confronts the monumentality of the architecture with the fragility of performing bodies and a multiplicity of identities.   

Additionally, the exhibition features a number of site-specific interventions. The Cinéma Sémaphore in Nîmes will screen Bright Hours (2022), the first piece of short fiction by Gerard & Kelly. Bright Hours imagines how this romance altered modern architecture and is inspired by the brief encounter between architect Le Corbusier and the American dancer and singer Josephine Baker on a transatlantic vacation.

In March 2023, Gerard & Kelly will present State of (2019), a performance that features three dancers and uses the American flag, the national song of the United States, and a pole dance to challenge nationalistic symbols. The performance acquires fresh and deeper significance with the Maison Carrée, a Roman temple from the first century.

A catalogue co-edited by Mousse accompanies the exhibition, with an essay by art historian Miwon Kwon and a conversation between Lou Forster and the artists.

Brennan Gerard and Ryan Kelly have been collaborating since 2003. They were Van Lier Fellows of the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program before attending the Interdisciplinary Studio at UCLA. In France their work has been presented by the Festival d’Automne, CND Centre national de la danse, Centre Pompidou, and Palais de Tokyo, among others. Gerard & Kelly participated in the 2014 Made in L.A. Biennial and the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial. Their work is included in the collections of Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; LACMA Los Angeles County Museum of Art; FRAC Franche-Comté, Besançon; and Carré d’Art.

Gerard & Kelly will have their first exhibition at Marian Goodman Gallery in New York from November 1 to December 20, 2022.

Carré d’Art (Carré d’Art-Musée d’art contemporain)
Pl. de la Maison Carrée
30000 Nîmes
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