Santa Monica Welcomes Visionary French Artist To Prepare For Glow

Thursday, 21 Feb 2013, 8:27:00 AM

Mitch James

Visionary artist Mathieu Briand will be visiting Santa Monica this week to scout out possible locations for an original, site-specific artwork that he will be creating for Glow on Sept. 28 later this year.

Briand, who has garnered international acclaim for his work, is the French keynote artist for Glow 2013.

Since the first event in 2008, Glow has featured a French artist in its program in recognition of Paris’ Nuit Blanche—the inspiration for Glow and the first and most developed of the all-night art events that are now occurring throughout the world.

This year Glow is fortunate to have Briand carry on the tradition. 

This initial visit has been made possible with the generous support of ‘Ceci n’est  pas…Art Between France and Los Angeles’, a program of the Alliance Française of Los Angeles and Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel.

The Paris-based artist frequently creates environments and opportunities for the audience to take actions and interact with the artwork.

Briand's fluent command of media and advanced technologies (such as rapid prototyping) produce objects and images that can be playful, inviting and somewhat disconcerting all at the same time and are placed within installations that include his own hand drawn images.

For “Did You Ever Want to Be Someone Else?”, his 2007 performance and installation in collaboration with Prue Lang at the Tate Modern, Briand recruited 100 people to wear masks of the artist’s face and pursue action and behavior based on text messages they received telling them what to do.

Although the artwork is highly programmed in terms of audience behavior, it puts forth the possibility of seeing reality through the eyes of another—a hallmark of Briand’s ambition.

It is the idea of consciousness, and its permeability, that informs most of Briand’s work. Mr. Briand has exhibited at Centre Pompidou, the Istanbul Biennale and at La Maison Rouge in Paris.

He is currently developing his own artist residency program on a small island off the coast of Madagascar.

The overarching intent of the Glow 2013 evening is to break through the public’s preconceived notion of what art can be, encouraging both thoughtful contemplation and energetic participation.

While museums and galleries sleep, Glow comes alive to engage artists in the production of new artworks, specially commissioned for this unusual set of time and space coordinates: the beach at night.

Glow offers a rare and remarkable opportunity for the public to connect with contemporary art in new ways and to rediscover familiar spaces through the eyes of artists.

This year Glow will offer an extraordinary array of thought-provoking site-specific installations and performance works by dozens of artists from Los Angeles and around the world.

The art will be displayed in unexpected contexts and relationships, using both built and natural environments, on and near the quintessential Southern California public space: the beach.

Glow is produced by Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Division and the Santa Monica Arts Foundation. 

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