Re-Presentation – Laurence Payot. Exhibition 24 October – 26 November 2008
Contemporary French artist Laurence Payot transforms a new gallery into a romantic classical landscape in which you can wonder.
Re-Presentation is a site-specific installation by French artist Laurence Payot at The New Slaughterhouse gallery in Garston, and the result of an ongoing and intricate examination into the conventions of landscape, a subject deeply rooted in art history. Responding directly to the gallery setting, Payot will ‘re-present’ the view that is seen whilst looking out of the gallery windows and across the street, reflecting this back into the space from which it can be seen.
Neighbourhoods like Garston, out of the city have been affected greatly by the influx of money seemingly pumped into the centre of Liverpool, which in turn has diverted custom and commerce away from local businesses. Abandoned buildings and deserted streets are not an uncommon sight, and areas previously at the heart of the community are becoming more like ghost towns, vacantly sat waiting for life. The boards that now cover the windows and doors of these buildings conceal the histories that lay within; façades disguising what is actually there.
Re-Presentation is at once a hyperrealist painting and a theatre set, placed in the French tradition of Trompe-l’oeil. Yet unlike the flat and illusionist style that typifies this technique, Payot’s landscape can be entered, the audience like actors invited to break the illusion and walk around her life size set. Painstakingly painted on nine ‘flats’, this dilapidated portion of Garston reflected back on itself not only mirrors the scenery outside but also draws attention to the concealed situation in Garston. By mimicking a view that is usually overlooked we are forced to consider not only what is thought of as disregarded but the gallery setting itself, the best location to view this stage is from a distance, stood outside in the actual place that you wish to view.
Laurence Payot was born in Metz in 1981 and graduated from the Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts de Lyon, with a degree in art in 2005. She currently lives and works in Liverpool. Interested in familiar and everyday phenomena Payot’s practice primarily incorporates intervention, installation and painting, often within a site specific and relational context, questioning modes of seeing, and seeking to make us aware of the subtle poetry and peculiarity of the mundane.