Coplas Populares — ¡ Adentro !

Nino Laisné

February 13th   > May 2nd 2015  — Contemporary Art Center image/imatge, Orthez (FR)

Artistic program: Émilie Flory
Curating: Émilie Flory & Nino Laisné

Nino Laisné has, for several years, been developing a singular universe in which the image occupies a key place. Whether it be in his photographs or in his filmed works, the artist does not confine himself to one visual language. Within his meticulously constructed work, latency and time for contemplation take on their full meaning.

The artist’s works with their distinct strangeness, are embodied and unfold in dialogue with other mediums such as cinema and music as well as through historical and sociological elements, art, popular traditions, fashion, cabaret and opera. His eclectic artistic research, consisting of this more or less visible back-and-forth between mediums and sources, along with the importance of the Hispanic culture, makes Laisné’s work a wonderfully rich ensemble that defies traditional labels.
As a musician and cinephile, the artist builds his visual universe with the vocabulary of both the seventh art and the performing arts, creating dialogues with sound rather than with words. Os convidados (2010) is one example of this: a still image, illuminated, on a box, from which the singing of a magnificent man of color emanates. He is standing, facing a table of perplexed and solemn guests. It is with this work that Nino Laisné first eludes frontiers. Not just a photograph, not altogether an installation, and not yet a film, Os convidados crystallizes this slipping from one genre into another, from proletarian reality to fiction. It is a precursor to future projects that will play with this interpenetration between genres such as Folk Songs (2014) and Marisol/Mariluz (2015).

The film En présence (piedad silenciosa), from 2013, is also a pivotal point in his work. We recognize a certain slowness, in which there is a growing double confusion: the first, eminently manifest, is the androgynous voice of the first character; the second is the ambiguous sexuality of the other character. This man’s singing unsettles the woman, whose strikingly enigmatic persona remains impalpable.

In the video installation Esas lágrimas son pocas (2015), the artist takes inspiration from a trend in the 1960s throughout Hispanic countries in which children are seen as the new icons, as in the case of Quetcy Alma, baptized La Lloroncita (the little weeper), whose success lay in her incredible ability to cry on command. In line with this tradition, Nino Laisné proposes to three children from immigrant families to sing two traditional songs of their choice from their countries of origin. The first song is filmed spontaneously during the auditions whereas the second is staged. Enveloped in Technicolor-like lighting, the children are made up and dressed in clothes of another era. They then become representatives of a traditional culture that they barely know. The mirror set-up –each child faces his/her own image and can hear his/herself singing – reinforces the artificiality of the feelings acted out and felt.

The perpetual search for iconographies, for texts, music and obscure characters is a constant in the artist’s work. This body of documents conjures up figures that can be found directly or implicitly in several of his works

— Émilie Flory, extracts
Translation by Patricia Chen

Exhibition realized by the contemporary art center image/imatge in partnership with Chambre 415.,l’Atelier d’Estienne, contemporary art center in Pont-Scorff (Morbihan) and La Casa Argentina in Paris.

Read the text Equivocal in its entirety

Website of the Artist
Nino Laisné

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   Views of the Show : © Nino Laisné


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