Saatchi Gallery

French artist Cyril de Commarque transforms the Saatchi Gallery with major installation

As part of its special Artist-In-Residency programme, Saatchi Gallery is delighted to present a new multi-media installations by Cyril de Commarque.

Created as a response to Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh, which will be displayed at Saatchi Gallery for six months from November to May 2020, the artist invites the viewer to contemplate notions of legacy and transition.

Artificialis, Cyril de Commarque

Artificialis takes as its starting point the Anthropocene era – the period when man first had an impact on Earth’s geology and ecosystems – then looks towards the future, meditating on the effect technology and scientific advancement will have on humankind and the environment.

Says Commarque: “We are in essence no different to our earliest ancestors, but Artificial Intelligence has the power to shape us into a markedly different species. One consequence is that the mythologies that have defined us in the past will become obsolete, demanding new ones to replace them.”

The artist invites the viewer to contemplate this new world, starting with the notion that Homo Sapiens will be superseded by a species of its own creation, Homo Artificialis. Rather than portray this in Utopian or Dystopian terms, Commarque interrogates his own feelings through a series of sculptural mise-en-scènes, each piece documenting the transition from one age to another.

Located on the Gallery’s second floor, the installation includes sculptures placed around a carpet of multi-coloured flakes. The four figurative pieces are made from the crudest form of plastic waste, and in sync with the show’s themes have been created by the human hand with the assistance of robotic tools. The sculptures, which include two flower-shaped neons suspended from the ceiling, are standalone works however each is united by a common visual language.

The atmosphere is heightened by a sound work created by the artist in collaboration with Toni Castell, itself punctuated by the ignition of a stroboscopic light which randomly flickers into life. Meanwhile, Primitive, is displayed in an adjoining room. Carved from wood, it presents the destructive patterns of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.

Artificialis will be accompanied by a programme of talks arranged by the artist.

Says Philippa Adams, Director, Saatchi Gallery: “Inviting Daudy and Commarque to be artist-in–residence at the Saatchi Gallery has led to two very exciting interventions. The programme set out to open discourses of the key themes of afterlife and existence explored in the story of King Tutankhamun. Both installations open a discourse on the nature of life, drawing on the past and looking into the future.”

The exhibitions by  Commarque and Daudy are now on show at The Saatchi Gallery. For more information visit: https://www.saatchigallery.com/art/artists-in-residence.php