Text by Sonia Recasens
08/06/2016 - 30/07/2016
On the eve of UEFA Euro 2016, a famous European football championship, Géraud Soulhiol opens the doors of his cabinet of counter-architectures dedicated to one of the favourite monument of our times: stadiums. The artist is less interested in sports hosted by the stadium, but rather in its architecture as an operator who plays a full role within the spectacle and the game. As a tool of political and cultural influence that transcends borders and condenses collective imagineries, the stadium thus becomes with the artist’s touch the main character of an amazing building-blocks set.
Entitled ARENA, the exhibition staged at the Gallery 22,48 m² gathers works from several series, times and media, just like a "mise en abyme" of his hybridizations drawings which interlock architectures of different types and historical periods (stadiums, cathedrals, fortress) within the series of the same name. From a research he started in 2013 with Projet Arena showed at « Gamerz Festival 09 » – Aix-en-Provence, the artist explores new plastic art forms (photomontages, 3D models, holography) in order to open new perspectives and dimensions to his work. As the backbone of his creative process, drawing remains his favourite means of expression, more spontaneous and direct in order to shape this range of heterotopias. Like a kind of crazy architect, Géraud Soulhiol provides here different points of view on his collection made of mutant and anachronic creations, and gets close to a possible realization of these architectures as exuberant and aberrant. Genuine recollection of construction or sets or strategy games, the neo-towers of Babel designed by Géraud Soulhiol allude to the architectural achievement and to issues of money and power crystallized by the stadium, as a symbolic object of our urban societies, torn between the local and the global level, past and future, modernity or ruin.