Cyril Lepetit: Planning
Cyril Lepetit
Salon Technotrans (Technology Transport), Truck Transport Industry Convention.
Nantes, France,
Photo: La Valise, Carole Humeau 2010

21 May to 20 June 2010

GALLERY TALK : Art critic and curator Guy Brett in conversation with artist Cyril Lepetit

Wednesday 23 June 2010 7pm - booking essential - email:

Guy Brett is a long established London-based art critic, curator and lecturer on art. Brett's work has been instrumental in the development of European and Latin-American kinetic art during the 1960s - he curated influential exhibitions such as In Motion, an international exhibition of kinetic art for the Arts Council of Great Britain (1966). Other notable international exhibitions include Force Fields: Phases of the Kinetic (MACBA, Barcelona and Hayward Gallery, London, 2000), Li Yuan-001) and 'Boris Gerrets (Kiasma, Helsinki, 2002).

He has published widely in the international art press, including monographic essays on Rasheed Araeen, Derek Boshier, Lygia Clark, Eugenio Dittborn, Rose English, Rose Finn-Kelcey, Tina Keane, Victor Grippo, Brion Gysin, Mona Hatoum, Susan Hiller, Ghisha Koenig, David Medalla, Helio Oiticica, Lygia Pape and Aubrey Williams; publications include Through Our Own Eyes: Popular Art and Modern History (New Society,1986), Transcontinental: Nine Latin American Artists (Verso, 1990), Exploding Galaxies: The Art of David Medalla (Kala Press, 1995), Mona Hatoum (Phaidon, 1997) and Susan Hiller: Recall (Baltic, 2004).

Guy Brett has been instrumental in making the work of Latin American artists accessible to a wider public - his book Carnival of Perception (Iniva, 2004) includes seminal essays on key Latin American practitioners, as well as several texts that explore the cross-cultural and experimental diversity of the London art scene since the 1960s. Oiticica in London, a collection of essays from 1976-2002, is his most recent publication. It was co-edited with Luciano Figueiredo and released to coincide with the Oitica: the Body of Color exhibition at Tate Modern (Tate, 2007). He co-curated the Cildo Meireles retrospective at Tate Modern (2008-9), also editing the accompanying catalogue.

Cyril Lepetit's work is about the intimate and the very public. It's about the things we want, the things we can do and the things that we do anyway. Paintings, sculptural elements, live actions and video works often articulate a journey through desire.

For this exhibition he is presenting a series of works responding to the intimacy of the gallery, in a Georgian house, and the outside world.

Technotrans, 2009, the starting point for this solo show, is a work developed between France and England: a sound based piece created with asylum seekers & refugees. The artist asked them to sing a song from their home country and an English one that they may have known before entering the UK. The recordings of their songs were then presented as a DJ mix in the back of a lorry at a truck transport industry convention in France, called Technotrans.

The second part of the exhibition Mat & Rug & Pomegranates is a practical response to the comfortable Georgian house. Lepetit has rearranged the welcoming entrance hall of the gallery and has installed a double entrance corridor on the upper floor. These two routes mislead the visitor to artworks of pleasant appearance: the softness of a rug asking for a password, and a series of still lives influenced by a ‘ drug dealer who now hopes to take on the Afghan opium growers by growing pomegranates.’
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Cyril Lepetit was born in Cherbourg, France (1970). He studied at the Ulster College of Art in Belfast (1993) and graduated at the ENSBA Caen in 1995. He lived in Paris until 1998. After a residency in Taiwan and Japan he moved to London in 2000 where he now lives and works. ‘From our first caress to our last breath, will our desires have evolved’was the title of a performance he presented in Seduced: Sex and Art from Antiquity to Now, Barbican Art Gallery, London, 2008. His work was also seen in the group shows London in Six Easy Steps (Part 4), ICA, London, 2005; Coalesce: Happenstance, Smart Project Space, Amsterdam 2009; Metropolis Rize: New Art from London, Dashanzi International Art Festival (DIAF) 798 Space, Beijing & Design Center, Shangai, 2006; Moving in Architecture, Camden Art Centre, London 2006; Daily Noise, Leroy Nyman Gallery, Columbia University NY, 2006; Genetic Sculpture, Art Concept Galerie, Paris 2001; + si affinité Afiac, Les Abattoirs, Toulouse, 2006 and Centrefold, Zoo Art Fair, London, 2006 (Tate collection). Lepetit runs the International Exhibitionist alongside his practice: .

TECHNOTRANS a project by Cyril Lepetit with the complicity of: Hamid - Mohammed - Safiddin - Hashmatullah - Mohammed - Farhad - Navid - Haji - Mohammad - Marcus - Rohullah - Hussain - Shafi - Farhad - Naseem - Shamsullah - Mdeq - Elton - Abdullah - Sirat - Aniff - Zenawi - Lidy - Ata - Merhawi - Zenawi - Mirwais - Titi - Helen - Yodet - Ata - Mosadeq - Helen - Ahmed - Indrit ... Thanks to Dj Ken Clayton & Jive Biquette - Ouest Utilitaire - Refugee Council London, Anchor Project, DOST, Refugee Youth Project.