The New Social Environment#320

Laurent Grasso with Donatien Grau

 

1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Artist Laurent Grasso joins Rail Editor-at-Large Donatien Grau for a conversation. We conclude with a poetry reading from Sandra Simonds.

In this talk

For the last four years, artist Laurent Grasso has been engaged in a conversation with Brooklyn Rail Editor-at-Large Donatien Grau for Grasso’s installation and film project Artificialis at Musée d’Orsay—a film especially created for this institution, in conjunction with the exhibition The Origins of the World, The Invention of Nature in the 19th century. Grasso and Grau discuss their collaboration on this project as well as broader issues present in Grasso’s work—the relation between history and futurism, the status of knowledge and images, the transformations of the world in which we live.

Laurent Grasso

Laurent Grasso
Photo by Mathieu Cesar
Born in 1972, French conceptual artist Laurent Grasso creates mysterious atmospheres through immersive and labyrinthine installations that challenge the boundaries of our perceptions and knowledge. Like a film director, he arranges and stages diverse realities in order to create hypnotic systems. Often conceived as quasi-autonomous vision machines, Grasso’s projects attempt to capture and restore phenomena invisible to the human eye and mind. Their scopic dimension questions the will to control, whether it is a question of surveillance, political power, military strategy, or astronomy. Combining the most prospective theories and scientific tools with the oldest beliefs, his works invite us to travel through time and into an interfolding of worlds.

Donatien Grau

Donatien Grau
Head of contemporary programs at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris Donatien Grau holds doctoral degrees in French and comparative literature from the Sorbonne, in philological and historical sciences from the École des Hautes Études, Paris, and a DPhil from Oxford University. He served as advisor to Azzedine Alaïa for the couturier’s not-for-profit exhibition space, the Galerie (2014–17) and curated the inaugural exhibition of the reopening of the Getty Villa, Malibu, Plato in L. A. (2018). He is an Editor-at-Large of Purple Fashion Magazine and the Brooklyn Rail. He has published widely on the arts and culture of the Roman Empire, on 19th and 20th literary and art history, as well as on contemporary art and culture.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poem, and we’re fortunate to have Sandra Simonds reading.

Sandra Simonds

Sandra Simonds
Poet and critic Sandra Simonds is the author of seven books of poetry: Atopia (Wesleyan University Press, 2019), Orlando (Wave Books, 2018), Further Problems with Pleasure, winner of the 2015 Akron Poetry Prize, among others. Her poems have been included in Best American Poetry in 2014 and 2015 and have appeared in many places including The New Yorker, Poetry magazine, the American Poetry Review, the Chicago Review, Granta, Boston Review, Ploughshares, Fence, Court Green, and Lana Turner. She lives in Tallahassee, Florida, and is an associate professor of English and Humanities at Thomas University in Thomasville, Georgia.