24.05 > 25.11.2024 | 20 février 1998, Nagano by Pierre Larauza (Fr) | Musée d’art et d’histoire Paul Eluard (Saint-Denis – Fr)

24.05 > 25.11.2024 | 20 février 1998, Nagano by Pierre Larauza (Fr) | Musée d’art et d’histoire Paul Eluard (Saint-Denis – Fr)

The artwork “February 20, 1998, Nagano” from the series “Documentary Sculptures” by the artist Pierre Larauza (which the Pépinières have supported for several years), will be exhibited at the Paul Eluard Museum of Art and History, as part of the exhibition “The Mechanics of the Exploit. The Body Put to the Test of Sport” and the initiative “Cultural Olympiad of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games”.

In his project “Documentary Sculptures”, the multidisciplinary artist questions gesture, act or movement through art, creating independent and complementary works that link history, homage and struggles.

Please note that on June 1, Surya Bonaly will be present with Pierre Larauza at the Museum for a walking performance-meeting in the museum as part of the Nuit Blanche.

20 février 1998, Nagano

The documentary sculpture “February 20, 1998, Nagano” recreates life-size the famous backflip of French figure skater Surya Bonaly during the Olympic Games in Nagano. A feat that has since become for many the icon of the fight of a woman, a minority or a difference. Note that Surya Bonaly will be the patron of these next World Championships.

During the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano, French figure skater Surya Bonaly defied the members of the jury by performing a backflip that was forbidden in competition. A prodigious movement that she symbolically offered to the public. Although in reality, she did not break the rules by landing on one leg, she was nevertheless relegated to eleventh place in the long program. Since then, no athlete, female or male, has performed this extreme figure in competition.

Furthermore, Surya Bonaly remains the only person to have performed a backflip landing on one foot, giving her name to this jump: the “Bonaly”. This movement that would end her competitive career is the symbolic gesture of a black athlete in one of the whitest sports there is. A sport in which she never stopped trying to push the limits but where her athletic style and musculature, marked by her origins as a gymnast, did not match the canons of beauty in force at the time in figure skating.

In line with the work of the Frenchman Etienne-Jules Marey or the British photographer Eadweard Muybridge, famous for their research on the decomposition of movement, the design of the sculpture February 20, 1998, Nagano requested an extremely precise analysis of the movement performed by Surya Bonaly. The trajectory of the ice skates was broken down into a series of positions in three-dimensional space (and time) before being materialized again within the work.

Surya Bonaly

Surya Bonaly is a figure skater born on December 15, 1973 in Nice (Alpes-Maritimes). She was nine times French solo champion (from 1989 to 1997) and once French pair champion in 1989 and won a multitude of international prizes including eight world medals (figure skating and tumbling combined).

Read also (french) : 20 ans après – 1991 : Surya Bonaly décroche l’or aux Championnats d’Europe de patinage artistique

Pierre Larauza

Artistic director and co-founder of the Belgian-based contemporary dance company t.r.a.n.s.i.t.s.c.a.p.e with the dancer and choreographer Emmanuelle Vincent. Since 2003, they have explored the movement through contemporary hybrid forms, crossing disciplines in a multicultural approach. Their performances and films have been performed or exhibited worldwide in more than 26 countries.

Currently Php student at Université Libre de Bruxelles and Paris 1, his areas of study are “Artistic practice of historical reenactment”, “Choreographic immersion in museums” and what he calls “Documentary sculpture”: his main research where he develops in sculpture the reenactments of historical body movements (sport movement or human interest stories).

Larauza’s first publication is currently being published: an article dedicated to the analysis the contemporary museum mutation through four choreographic variations experimented at the Hô-chi-minh-city Museum of Fine Arts in Vietnam. A second article in progress is about the syncretic dimension that Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Films Stills (1977-1980) maintains on several levels with cinema.

Beside his creations and theoretical researches, Larauza is also co-founder of Máy xay sinh tố, an interdisciplinary and transcultural laboratory based in Vietnam founded in 2016 with the artists Emmanuelle Vincent and Thy Nguyen Truong Minh in association with the University of Fine Arts in Hô Chi Minh City and more recently the art school ERG.

Researcher, sculptor, set designer, choreographer, filmmaker or even performer, Larauza’s roles intertwine and the concept of specialization gradually fades away to nourish his interest for in(ter)disciplinary approach. Hybridity imposes itself naturally in Larauza’s practice and theoretical research.

Check also
30 août 1991, Tokyo – Pierre Larauza @ La Nuit Blanche Paris (Fr)
Des mouvements que je n’aurais jamais pu faire – Pierre Larauza ! | Tour à plomb (Be)
Focus t.r.a.n.s.i.t.s.c.a.p.e – Exposition + événement – Jacques Franck (Be)

Documentary sculptures

With this research, the French artist develops a three-dimensional work deeply rooted in reality: a process that he qualifies as “documentary sculpture”. This critical work of investigation of reality takes the form of life-size historical reconstructions reproducing the trajectory of mass-mediatized physical movements that have particularly marked him: from a cult sporting gesture to a racist police blunder. Iconic movements symbols of invincibility, inventiveness, iniquity or even prohibition. According to a process of decomposition of the movement and a work of investigation (meeting of the protagonists, analysis of archives…), his works freeze in space-time an emblematic second of these events. Whether it is a record movement, a choreographic invention, a forbidden movement or a racist movement, these sculptures evolve over the course of the investigations carried out, transforming the works into processes and, conversely, these processes. in works.

Attached to the participatory dimension for some of his works, Pierre Larauza has, for example, created for the city of Brussels a lasting urban sculpture at the crossroads of art, sport and documentary. Inaugurated in September 2021 in the presence of Mike Powell, this artworks allows everyone to measure themselves against the excess of the long jump world record.

Pierre Larauza is also involved in university research: his doctoral thesis in Art and Art Sciences thus questions the intersection between sculpture and a documentary approach. Through the hypothesis of a “neo-factual plastic narrative”, he analyzes the aesthetic and critical issues of such a three-dimensional practice of investigating reality.

Pierre Larauza has also published on the spectatorial hybridity of dance in the museum (Geuthner, 2019) or on the syncretic approach of Cindy Sherman (Koregos, 2020). Speaking outside the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels (modules 2016 and 2018), he has also been involved since 2016 in a transcultural project in Vietnam whose ambition is to build a long-term base of experiences and of non-ethnocentric reflections. In this context, he gives installation and sculpture workshops at the University of Fine Arts in Ho Chi Minh City.

Cultural Olympiad

The Cultural Olympiad explores the link between art, sport and the Olympic and Paralympic values. From now until the Games, Paris 2024 encourages artists, companies, associations, communities and the sports movement to be actors in the cultural programming of the Games throughout France.

Led by the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games (OPG) Culture Directorate, the Cultural Olympiad mobilizes all stakeholders in sport and culture thanks to the involvement of many stakeholders, including the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Sports and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the City of Paris, the Île de France region, the Seine-Saint-Denis department and the City of Marseille.