Peter Coffin is interested in alternative forms of thinking, irrational phenomena that belong to different disciplines, including art history, science fiction, New Age beliefs and the sciences. Through his installations, photographs and videos, he searches for conclusions that logic alone is unable to achieve. In his investigations, Coffin seeks new avenues for entering the world more fully and experiencing it in new ways!
Having put a UFO in the sky over Rio, Coffin has landed at Crédac for a solo show that brings together several videos and installations. In an extension of his usual work, he is pushing his investigations further through different types of phenomena (natural, optical and other), offering visitors new ways of seeing and understanding such manifestations, and new means for questioning the subjectivity of science.
The title chosen by the artist refers to his ideas for this show with respect to the experience of movement, color and light. The Italian indefinite adjective «qualunque » can mean any, any old, whichever, whatever…
Crédac’s main gallery will feature the artist’s latest piece, the Shepard-Risset Glissando, a video whose image plays over two-thirds of the space (floor, ceiling and side walls). Projected from where the screening room of this venue would have been (it was originally designed as a cinema), the video features the different colors that make up the spectrum of light as described in Isaac Newton’s chromatic circle. The movement of the colors is accompanied by a so-called Shepard-Risset glissando, in which one perceives an endless gradual rising towards a high pitch or inversely a descent towards a low one.
Visitors are immersed in a visual and sound installation that is designed to shake up their sensory perceptions.
Along with the projection, Coffin’s piece includes a collection of sculptures displayed on pedestals scattered throughout the venue (these were shown in February 2009 at the Barbican Art Gallery in London). The series Transformation Works was created with the help of a mathematician specialized in topology and the transformation of objects into various forms according to mathematical processes. A human skull, for example, is turned inside out. A pine cone is transformed into a fragment of Rubik’s cube, while a shell is broken up and repeated as if seen through the lens of a kaleidoscope… The modification process is displayed alongside the source object. Viewers are invited to reconsider the art of transformation as a creative and conceptual exercise. Coffin makes it possible for ordinary objects to become another reality.
In another gallery Coffin is screening the video Untitled (L’Angelus Experience), his interpretation of L’Angelus, the mythic painting by Jean-François Millet (1814-1875). The artist explores the effects this video has on viewers when they watch it repeatedly over long periods of time. Through one simple gesture, he is able to make Millet’s peasants «dance» the bossa nova, playing on perception and illusion.
Further along Coffin sets up an extremely thin neon «serpent» that runs from the floor to the ceiling. He takes over the Pilot light panel located on the art center’s exterior and infiltrates its telephone system with a soundtrack.
Film of the exhibition © Claire Le Restif / le Crédac
Born in 1972 in Berkeley, US. Lives and works in New York, US. http://petercoffinstudio.com/
Media partnership : Art21, Kaléidoscope, Le Journal des Arts, artnet.fr, L’Officiel - galeries et musées, M19