To mark FIAC 2016, the contemporary art fair that will be held in Paris from 20 to 23 October, Nadja Swarovski and Jennifer Flay, FIAC’s director, have chosen the artistic duo Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, both based in London and represented by the Lisson Gallery.
This surprising installation, exhibited on the Grand Palais’ Balcony of Honour, represents the second commission by the Swarovski Series project, which looks to support artists using crystal as a creative medium.
The behaviour and misbehaviour of light is an installation composed of large crystal sculptures, arranged along the balcony of honour. Crystal, which is often seen as synonymous with ornamentation, will be showcased through its other distinctive feature – the refraction of light due to the material’s facets. In this way, this elegant sculptural presence will bring the balcony to life, transforming the pieces into periscopes, using only crystal and light. Aesthetics and functionality combine, with in particular the development of crystal’s optical capacity assisted by Swarovski’s Research & Development team.
Broomberg & Chanarin will offer a unique vision of the building during FIAC, transforming the mezzanine into an interactive area, summoning the visitor into a new space.
Trained in photography, the artists have notably made a name for themselves through their critical research into ways of imagining conflict and violence. Their work untangles the complexity of photography’s uses and contexts, while also showing the subjectivity of image and archive technologies. Their work has long moved beyond documentary style and combines conceptual artistic research with major archive work.
This is the second piece in the Swarovski Series programme launched in 2015, an extension of the Austrian crystal specialist’s commitment to the top contemporary artists in the world. Each year, FIAC will welcome a new work crafted by an artist using crystal as a creative medium.
Swarovski is collaborating with FIAC for the third time, following a first off-site collaboration in 2014 with the installation by the French artist Didier Marcel. Last year, the American artist Wu Tsang created Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, a luminous sculptural installation in which the artist explored the creative potential of Swarovski crystals.