Cyril de CommarqueConceptual Artist, Sculptor, Painter
Through the masterful use of new technologies, de Commarque creates installations that aim at the emotional involvement of the public, stimulating the senses across the board. Images, sounds and a powerful symbolic component create an immersive atmosphere that sends messages straight to our consciousness, stimulating recollection of terrible events of the past, first and foremost the Holocaust, to reawaken attention to the tragedies of the present.
VIRIDEM is a monumental installation created for an urban environment. Externally the high, urban walls are intimidating and featureless. The visitor enters into the internal space through a small entrance, with the heart of the sculpture being reached through a narrow passage. As the visitor travels further into the sculpture the landscape becomes increasingly green and plants and sound transform the space into a place of meditation and introspection.
The sound element is abstract, an electronic interpretation of nature, mixed voices and natural sounds, a memory of our childhood, a sense of pure nature.
De Commarque's installation highlights our need for introspection and the need to create a form of progress based on a responsible ecosystem and our interaction with nature.
In D- Melancholia, Cyril De Commarque further explores his fascination with polyhedra and their symbolic role; during the Renaissance polyhedral volumes and the mastery of geometry and perspective became symbolic of profound philosophical and religious truth, inspiring artistic contemplation.
Melancholia as a mental condition allows reflection and reinvention, more than others. Writing during the Renaissance, Giorgio Vasari, painter and architect considered artists to be especially prone to melancholy, sometimes with good effect, for the state reflected increased sensitivity and fantasy in their art. Melancholy was portrayed as a state of waiting for inspiration to strike, and not necessarily as a depressive affliction.
Through D-Melancholia, De Commarque aims to depict the exact moment when we lay down our ideas, a metaphor of physical and intellectual engagement. Central to the piece is the achievement of a new perspective, where the action of thinking acts on the evolution of an improved approach towards society.
The sculpture is composed by four snapshot of this opening process.
Created after De Commarque's Fluxland, both projects take their inspiration from the Fluxus movement, an artistic revolution in the 1960s that sought to overturn the art establishment and break down the boundaries between art and life. Central to the movement was the idea that art had the ability to advance and better society and that it was imperative that art was accessible to all.
Fluxland is a barge transformed into a mirrored polyhedron sculptural form, currently moored at Imperial Wharf. Conceived as a moving-sculpture and an interactive sound installation, the space serves as a platform for debates and discourse, as well as an incubator for de Commarque's multi-media practice. The vessel took part in the Totally Thames Festival and navigated the Thames, voyaging across the city accompanied by a series of sound performances. The mirrored surfaces reflected the images of passing political, economic and artistic landmarks. On arrival, a series of conversations were held on board, exploring the relation between progress, politics and utopia. De Commarque's pioneering project invites us to consider and interrogate notions of progress through the intersection of art, philosophy and science.
- Fluxland (0.22MB, PDF)
A series of gold-plated aluminium sculptures, outlining borders and questioning their evolutions: the map is the symbol of a nation, this sense of nation is altered when borders are drawn as a result of conflict. In this series, overlaid historical paths map the key dates in the history of a nation.
We are living in a period of history where sense of national identity is central to politics; with migrants considered a risk. Through studying the evolution of countries, de Commarque's disturbing reading of history illustrates that those countries which had an hegemonic desire over their neighbour during the 20th century lost a large part of their influence, with their territories becoming smaller as a result of conflict.
Studies in this series include, Israel, Hungary, Austria, Russia, Turkey and Germany.
- Frontiers (6.39MB, PDF)
Migrants focuses on the psychological consequences, the feelings, the suppression, the painful inner processes of migration. The form of Migrants is inspired by The Raft of the Medusa by Géricault. The piece references a simple message in a bottle - an act of despair or of hope, a rebellion against the silence. The base is a boat (with a rubber boat deck) to which bottles are tied using cables.
Inside each of them beats a membrane (moulded on an actual heart). The sound of each bottle is a voice and, all together, the ensemble is drowned out by the beating hearts.
The 20th century could be described as a century of borders. Progress allows better border control and migrants have even more difficulty rebuilding their lives; they are penned in, locked out, controlled or, otherwise, a victim of the system.
- Cyril De Commarque Selected Exhibitions (0.06MB, PDF)