New York, May 11, 2016 – “What is essential is invisible to the eye,” Antoine de Saint Exupery’s famous utterance could be Radouan Zeghidour’s motto. The 26-year-old Parisian artist’s practice has been characterized by the building and documenting of illicit installations in hidden locations, the routes to which are disclosed only after the works are removed. Subway tunnels, catacombs and abandoned warehouses around Paris have served as his canvases – effectively denying access to any audience except the chosen few lucky enough to be a part of the process.
These underground structures, whether rafts, castle-like skeletons, or tombs are only revealed to a public audience after their life cycle, exhibited as recollections of the artist’s secrets: photographs capturing the sites, video works of the journey underground, paintings made with the debris or detritus from his locations, and boxes of relics.
Oscillating between ideas of secrecy and the sacred, the Zeghidour’s first New York solo exhibition presented at Catinca Tabacaru Gallery and curated by Marie Salomé Peyronnel, focuses on the memory of Désenchantement (i.e. Disenchantment), a structure made of wood, wax and wool built in Paris under the La Maison Rouge Museum in 2015. The name Hypogea, literally meaning underground, refers to the crypts, temples, and tombs that act as the artist’s heterotopia; expanding his imagination, finding peace in the journey; and constructing new realms.
This exhibition includes six works: a box of relics made from polished aluminum and containing photographs and artifacts found on location while building Désenchantement; two debris paintings memorialized in wax; a video documenting the journey to the secret site; a hand drawn access map daring visitors to embark on a memorial pilgrimage to the original site of the installation; and a “tombstone” drawn with acid on aluminum marking the end of the process.
About Radouan Zeghidour:
Born in 1989, Radouan Zeghidour lives and works in Paris. He won the 2014 Thaddaeus Ropac Award and has been exhibited in Paris at the Fondation Brownstone, at Eglise Saint-Denys, and at Galerie Suzanne Tarasiève. His work was also included in Marie Salomé Peyronnel’s exhibition at the 2016 edition of SPRING/BREAK Art Show in New York City.
About Marie Salomé Peyronnel:
Marie Salomé is a French independent curator and writer based in Brooklyn. She discovered Radouan Zeghidour’s work while researching a piece on “invisible art,” later published in Vanity Fair (France, 2015). He politely declined the interview but has since become part of the roster of young foreigner artists Peyronnel brings with her to the United States.
Radouan Zeghidour’s HYPOGEA in COOL HUNTING
“One would fear, when putting an artist who has become known for temporary works in extraordinary, secret places within the walls of a gallery, that the magic would be lost. Fortunately, this isn’t the case with Radouan Zeghidour’s “HYPOGEA” at Catinca Tabacaru Gallery”
Radouan Zeghidour: HYPOGEA in Vice, The Creators Project
“An art student by day and a secret detective by night.”