Loris Gréaud installs The Underground Sculpture Park at the Casa Wabi Foundation

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Loris Gréaud installs The Underground Sculpture Park at the Casa Wabi Foundation
Loris Gréaud, The Underground Sculpture Park, 2020. Photo: Realism Noir © Loris Gréaud, Gréaudstudio, Galerie Max Hetzler Berlin I Paris I London, Fundación Casa Wabi.

PUERTO ESCONDIDO.- As the Casa Wabi was being designed, Loris Gréaud was contemplating burying his sculptures to create a real ‘underground’ sculpture park. After several years and many correspondances and meetings between the artist and the Casa Wabi Foundation, The Underground Sculpture Park was inaugurated there on the 1st of February 2020.

Loris Gréaud has selected twenty or so of his iconic art pieces produced since the start of the 21st century, which have been buried forever along the natural paths formed within the gardens designed by Alberto Kalach as a continuation of the institution architecture created by Tadao Ando. Yet, this real sculpture park will remain hidden from the public: only benches marked with the anniversary date of the park official opening, in February 2021, will be placed once the vegetation has returned. Visitors will be able to sit on them and enjoy a contemplative outlook onto the surrounding landscape and the art pieces lying a few metres below their feet in some sort of backward archaeology.

The artist’s concept – both straightforward and extremely intricate in its execution - astutely brings in the epitome of the ghost: the pieces are invisible, yet physically present. Visitors are therefore encouraged to project these pieces, picture them, fantasize about them. Thus, the artist’s intention is not to put an end to them but to start an exploration of their underlying potential through everyone’s imagination by using this form of self-negation: what if these pieces were to be unearthed and reappear?

This very concept eventually indicates a break in the work of Loris Gréaud as he explored, with his project The Unplayed Notes (2012-2017) and its various occurrences, the question of space between art pieces and now focuses on their potential destination. Therefore, in symbiosis with the Casa Wabi Foundation’s philosophy and with the support of the local community, the artist brings up the concept of a romantic journey allowing his pieces to travel to the edges of the world, in a freely accessible place seemingly timeless, yet in perfect harmony with its surroundings.

The Underground Sculpture Park asks us to contemplate this poetic event and bring our own answer: what message would be sent to the world if an artist came to conceal the vestige of their work and have it move as the constant drift of a sculpture park which would be real yet could only be accessed through people’s mind?

In conjunction with the official opening of The Underground Sculpture Park, Hatje Cantz Publishing will release the catalog The Unplayed Notes / Introduction to The Underground Sculpture Park which, together with an essay by Nicolas Bourriaud, closes the seven-year-long project which travelled through many places including Paris, New York, Dallas and Venice.

Since the early 2000s, Loris Gréaud has developed a singular trajectory in the international contemporary art scene whereby he constructs unique environments to house disruptive elements, often with an ambiguous narrative that blurs the boundaries between fiction and reality. Rumors, poetry, viruses, architecture and demolition, academicism and self-negation are therefore regularly summoned in his work as it strives to oppose the separation between physical and mental spaces.

Loris Gréaud’s projects have given rise to important solo exhibitions. He was the first artist to use all the space of the Palais de Tokyo (Paris), with his project Cellar Door (2008-2011), which was further developed at the Institute of Contemporary Art (London), the Vienna Kunsthalle, the Kunsthalle St Gall (Switzerland) and at the Conservera de Murcia museum (Spain). In 2013, the Louvre Museum and the Centre Georges Pompidou invited him to design a double exhibition that will bring the project to life [I]. In 2015, he took over all the spaces of the Dallas Contemporary (United States) with his project still at work The Unplayed Notes Museum. In 2016 he produced the project Sculpt specially for LACMA (Los Angeles) - it was his first major exhibition on the west coast of the United States. In 2017, he attracted the attention of the 57th Venice Biennale with his project The Unplayed Notes Factory in Murano (Italy). In 2019, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art hosted Sculpt: Grumpy Bear, the Great Spinoff, the 2nd part of the LACMA show. Still in 2019, the exhibition The Original, The Translation in the Kandinsky Library of the Pompidou Center brought his whole editorial activity to light. After purchasing the artwork MACHINE in 2018, the Paris Museum of Modern Art has invited Loris Gréaud to design a specific exhibition, within the permanent collections, entitled Glorius Read, currently on view until the 9th of February 2020.

Loris Gréaud’s works are part of many public collections including the Pompidou Center’s (Paris), the LACMA’s (Los Angeles), the Paris Museum of Modern Art’s, the François Pinault’s Collection (Venice), the Louis Vuitton Foundation’s (Paris), the Israel Museum’s (Jerusalem), the Margulies Collection (Miami), the Goetz Collection (Munich), the Rubell Family Collection (Miami), the Nam June Paik Art Center’s (Korea), the Tel Aviv Museum of Art’s (Israel) and the Hirshhorn Museum’s (Washington).

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