Laurette’s ‘studio’ is what could be called the ‘commercial public space’: the supermarket, the press, television, etc., in short, any zone where interest or need is marketed. With a good eye for readymade metaphors and for suitable products and phenomena in the commercial domain, he analyses the mechanisms of the economic system and measures their effect on art and man. As an artist, he usually operates in the guise of an economic actor – a consumer or a manufacturer – in order to test and question the system from the inside, or even to shape it to his will. In the process, Matthieu Laurette investigates both the role of the buyer/spectator or entrepreneur and the role of the artist. In other words, he questions the identity of the consumer as an artist, and vice versa. And he finds new answers. It is especially this far-reaching integration of his work into social and commercial life, the near-merger of his work with economic reality, that makes the oeuvre of Matthieu Laurette so remarkable. This quality causes works by Laurette to generate a multitude of reflections on the interplay between consumption, in all its forms, and art. It lends it a symbolic and often problematic nature. Another important aspect of Matthieu Laurette’s oeuvre is his use of the medium of television, which Laurette turns into a kind of virtual studio. Moreover, through television, his artist’s career itself is turned into a direct product. Technically speaking, Laurette is a ‘multimedia’ artist. But his installations and objects are often the result of a production process that are merely started up or guided by him. In other words, he seldom intervenes as a ‘maker’: the actual work consists of an association or recombination of existing products or objects manufactured by ‘third parties’. The evolution of our market system leads to a constant divergence and cross-fertilisation of ideas. Laurette’s work attempts to find, in this ever-changing economic context, a survival strategy for art and for man.
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In 2003 Matthieu Laurette received the RICARD S.A. Award for most representative artist under 40 y.o. in the French scene. Matthieu Laurette’s selected exhibitions include : ‘Publicness’, ICA, London; ‘GNS (GLOBAL NAVIGATION SYSTEM)’, Palais de Tokyo, Paris; ‘Propaganda’, Espace Paul Ricard, Paris (2003); ‘Less Ordinary’, Artsonje Center, Seoul; ‘La vie au fond se rit du vrai’, CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux; ‘Art and Economy’, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg (2002); ‘Form Follows Fiction’, Castello di Rivoli, Torino; ‘Plateau of Humankind’, 49th Venice Biennale (2001); ‘Voilà’, Arc-Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris; ‘El Gran Trueque’, Consonni, Bilbao (Solo); ‘Plan B’, De Appel, Amsterdam; ‘Au dela du Spectacle (Let’s Entertain)’, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2000); ‘Patchwork in Progress’, Mamco-Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Geneva (solo); ‘Crash !’, ICA, London (1999); ‘Applaus’, Casco Projects (solo), Utrecht; ‘Premisses’, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1998). His works are in several public, corporate and private collections, including: Musée National d’art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris; FNAC, Fond National pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris ; FRAC-Collection Aquitaine, Bordeaux; The Speyer Family Collection, New York; William Grant and Sons Ltd, Dufftown.
Matthieu Laurette has taught as guest professor and visiting lecturer at several art academies and universities, including: San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco; Städelschule, Frankfurt; ECAL, Lausanne; ENSBA, Paris; Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona; Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh and ESAV, Geneva. He gave lectures and seminars on contemporary art at several museums and institutes, including: The Bronx Museum, New York; Musée du Quebec, Quebec; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Kunst-Werke, Berlin; Musée d’Art Contemporain, Lyon; Kiasma, Helsinki and Santa Monica Museum, Los Angeles.
Deweer Gallery presented three solo shows by Matthieu Laurette: in 2004 (‘Commodities’, with catalogue), in 2007 (‘Real Estate’) and in 2008 (‘Plight 2’).
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