To mark its re-opening, the FRAC Champagne-Ardenne will be presenting the very first solo show in France of the American artist Lisa Oppenheim. Her art praxis is situated directly in the tradition of conceptual photography, the artists of the “Pictures Generation”, and American structuralist cinema. She is interested, most particularly, in the history of photography and its pioneers, as well as the development of its techniques over time. Her works often involve a relation between the original photographic process of found photography and the process which the artist introduces in her use of this latter. A kind of photographic exhumation making it possible for past and present to inform each other.
Lisa Oppenheim’s photographs and videos are created from existing images and documents which she appropriates, re-works and transforms using different historical and contemporary techniques. Her work process often finds its source in the Internet, where she looks for images and objects which she photographically re-interprets by using both analog and digital technologies. Through this approach, with the process itself becoming the basic material, the artist offers new forms and new contexts to photographic images.
Over the past ten years, she has thus produced a body of works which explore the use of the image—historical, present-day, documentary…—in our contemporary societies, a method which might be described as an “archaeology of time and visual culture”.
For her show at the FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, called Hereditary Language, Lisa Oppenheim will be presenting two works, specifically produced by the FRAC Champagne-Ardenne. The first one, Hereditary Language, is a film structured around an eponymous sound piece by Les Levine, in which children are talking about their anxieties about life, and the future. The second one is an ambitious photographic installation, echoing a series of paintings created by Ann Craven during her residency in Reims, in 2008, and presented in her monographic exhibition at the FRAC the same year. A set of works produced in collaboration with the Hamburger Kunstverein and the Grazer Kunstverein, as well as older works, will also be on view.
A first monograph devoted to her work, titled Works 2003–2013 and co-produced by the FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, the Hamburger Kunstverein and the Grazer Kunstverein, has just been published by the Sternberg Press. The exhibition is curated by Florence Derieux.