flashback video

19 October 2018

Quayola. Jardins d’Eté
curated by Federica Barletta

Jardins d’Eté is the name of the artwork by the young artist Quayola, born in 1982. The work consists in a series of video-installations inspired by Impressionism in high resolution. The main focus is the experimental use of technology: light sources, artificial wind and cameras all create the conditions to film something close to the gardens of Chateau de Chaumont-sur-Loire as painted by Monet.
In post-production – through analysing the composition’s movement and the colour scheme – algorithms are generated to create an immersive piece of work. We land therefore on the shores of another time, in which, with contemporary tools and languages we build a memory of what we were and what we will be. Next to the work by Quayola time loses its meaning, it gets suspended, mirroring exactly what happens to Chad Oliver’s main character when he finds himself in Africa. Once again confirming the timeless quality of art. Nevertheless, Quayola is not simply quoting Monet, in fact there are parallels between the two works. The first one is a research of a translation of the impression into an image, into a vision. The main focus of this process is the light, which is essential for both Monet and Quavola.
If for the former it is the result of an emotional impetus to “transpose” the feeling, for the latter it becomes the expression of a mechanical stimulus, a necessary action for the camera to record data, which isn’t emotional but digital.
The second one is the necessity to accomplish the creative act en plein air, thus coming into contact with nature, to interpret its most intimate and little shifts. For Monet, the place dedicated to artistic creation is the garden, bathed by the sun, where the artist awaits and participates. For Quavola instead, the roles get reversed: the painter is no longer the one who “lives the experience” en plain air, but the recipient of it. The “place of the flowers” becomes a movie set where the lights are carefully and technically positioned.
A third reflection arises: if the impressionist canvas describes a precise atmosphere, Quayola’s work instead elaborates a series of moments, digitally synthetizing them within a fluid motion, where the enigma of nature is expressed through what is called an algorithm-painting.
What do these two seemingly analogous processes share then?
It is complex to explore the real connection that exists between the two. Still, we can state that these flowers share an image of fluidity and aesthetic harmonies even though they are rooted in different grounds. However, there is something that we can safely say: Quayola’s work is a prime example of how the history of art is a never-ending source of lifeblood for contemporary art.

produced by Ncontemporary
in kind partner bitforms gallery (New York), Barco, Fast Events