13th Biennale de Lyon / by Hayley Quentin

This September marked the start of the 13th Biennale de Lyon. It is definitely “une biennale XXL” as there are 200 events in more than 150 venues, with some exhibitions on until the end of the year. There is a lot of work that I have still yet to see (I am particularly looking forward to the exhibition of Anish Kapoor chez Le Corbusier). Lucky for me, I was able to attend the professional preview on September 9th at La Sucrière. Below are just a few of the works I found particularly noteworthy from the Biennale so far- from La Sucrière, MAC de Lyon, and IAC Villeurbanne / Rhône-Alpes.

From MAC de Lyon:

First, let me start with my favorite work from the entire shebang. You'd think a film combining 3D technology, drones, and intense color would not result in anything even bordering on greatness. Cyprien Gaillard would kindly like to show you the door. His film, Nightlife, is unrelentingly beautiful. As the viewer I was completely, helplessly, absorbed by watching swaying trees as I have never truly seen them before (among other imagery), all while excellently paired with music by Alton Ellis. 

Cyprien Gaillard, Nightlife, (Film still) 2015. 3D motion picture, DCI DCP, 14:56 minutes. Copyright Cyprien Gaillard. Image courtesy of Sprüth Magers, Berlin. Soundtrack © BLACK MAN’S WORLD Performed by Alton Ellis, (P) 1970 Sanctuary Records Ltd., a BMG Company, Courtesy of BMG Rights Management GmbH. Written and composed by Alton N. Ellis, published by Haka Taka Music, Courtesy of Melodie der Welt GmbH & Co. KG. © BLACK MAN’S PRIDE featuring the performance of Alton Ellis is licensed by Jamaica Recording and Publishing Studio Limited,. 13 Studio One Boulevard, Kingston 5, Jamaica. Written and composed by Alton Ellis, published by Third Side Music o/b/o Jamrec Music, Courtesy of Rückbank Musikverlag Mark Chung. 

Here are two works by Johannes Kahrs, whose delicate, painterly qualities I really appreciate.

Johannes Kahrs, Feed my soul, création Biennale 2015

Johannes Kahrs, Untitled (bill), 2015, Oil on canvas, 113.5 x 159.5 cm. Courtesy Zeno X Gallery, Anvers.

And a few other works I like from the MAC:

Ed Ruscha, Gators, Acrylic on canvas, 315 x 182.9 cm. Collection Prada, Milan.

Laura Lamiel, Deux cellules, création Biennale 2015. Installation in two parts: iron structure, mirrors, enamelled, steel, various elements, 170 x 170 x 200 cm each. Courtesy Marcelle Alix, Paris.

 Nina Beier, Curtain Bang Crop, 2014. Human hair wig, painted frame, 42.2 x 65.10 x 5 cm. Courtesy de l’artiste et Metro Pictures, New York.

From La Sucrière:

Hicham Berrada, Mesk-ellil, 2015. Installation, ensemble of 7 stained glass terrariums, cestrum nocturnum, horticultural lighting, moonlight lighting delay. 250 x 200 x 50 cm each, 250 x 500 x 500 cm overall. Courtesy Kamel Mennour, Paris. 

Mike Nelson, A7 (Route du soleil), Création Biennale 2015.

Anna Ostoya, Red, Blue, Yellow, création Biennale 2015. Courtesy de l’artiste, Silberkuppe, Berlin; Bortolami Gallery, New York et tegenboschvanvreden Gallery, Amsterdam. Photography © Blaise Adilon

From IAC Villeurbanne / Rhône-Alpes:

I loved the work by Anastasis Stratakis; the seemingly blank white paper from far away reveals small, delicate marks the closer you get to it.

Anastasis Stratakis, 1:1 (Untitled #2), 2012. Charcoal and graphite on paper, 241 x 440 cm. Courtesy de l'artiste et Galerie AD, Athens. 

And a few Other works I liked from IAC:

Rathin Barman, Rejection of a Home, 2015. 

Maxime Lamarche, race against the storm, 2015

This last piece is a work depicting a sand storm- inside the glass box is layers of sand and several fans spinning everything around. This piece (like so many from the biennale) is very difficult to capture in photography, and I recommend seeing it in person.

David Posth-Kohler, Haboob, 2015 and Cavity, 2015. Photography © Emile Ouroumov