l’étrangère is pleased to present an exhibition of recent film and sculptural work by French artists Florian Pugnaire and David Raffini. Entitled Show Me it features Expanded Crash (Show Me) (2016), along with the award-winning film Dark Energy (2012). Pugnaire and Raffini’s collaborative practice has received international recognition with exhibitions at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, and Centre Pompidou, Paris, which holds their work in its collection.
Expanded Crash (Show Me) is a film whose protagonist is the carcass of an Opel-GT that transforms itself into a sculpture. With the help of a device hidden in the passenger compartment, the racing car ‘performs’, comes to life, begins to ‘breath’ then gradually expands, stretches and tears its body. The action references the cult 1983 film by John Carpenter, Christine, in which a classic 1950s car, a Plymouth Fury, turns into a murderous machine with an astonishing ability to self-rebuild. Expanded Crash (Show Me) reverses the process into self-destruction.
The work also refers to the fantasy of the living machine, extremely present in the collective imagination, and records the creation of a sculpture as a residual object with the eerie, apocalyptic atmosphere typical of the artists’ work. The film evokes the end of days, getting progressively more lost in a decaying world full of empty, abandoned buildings, burned carcasses, and darkly worrying landscapes.
Dark Energy is a video work showing a Volkswagen Transporter truck being violently destroyed, compacted, exploded and burnt. In an atmosphere reminiscent of a road movie, a Western or a science-fiction film, it records the successive stages of the truck’s metamorphosis into a sculpture.
Pugnaire and Raffini’s collaborative practice is particularly concerned with rendering visible the mutation of objects, whilst investigating the nature of material morphologies. In terms of the objects they choose to transform, they see engines of various sorts as symbolising mankind's technological development. They blow them up or transform them in all sorts of ways, so that the materials are submitted to various transformative, often violent forces before being reborn in new shapes.
Pugnaire and Raffini play with the idea of an object generating its own various alterations — transfiguring and evolving within its own skin, of its own accord. These material transformations sometimes take on a fictional dimension in the production of a film, whilst their sculptural works appear to be remnants of an event (a crash or catastrophe). Many appear to be frozen in the middle of a physical transformation — unfinished, they have an air of being consciously self-inflicted by the object itself.
Florian Pugnaire and David Raffini, born respectively in Nice in 1980 and Bastia in 1982, live and work between Nice and Paris. The artists met at the Villa Arson in Nice, in 2006, where they first shared a studio. Their artistic collaboration received international recognition in 2015, winning the 17th Prize Fondation d’entreprise Ricard, which saw two works — In fine (2011) and Casse pipe (2009) — included in the Centre Pompidou’s collection in Paris, France. Selected solo exhibitions include: Processumenti, FRAC Corse, Corté, Corsica, France (2017); Florian Pugnaire et David Raffini, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France (2016); INSULAE 2, Galerie Papillon, Paris, France (2016); Mechanical stress, Galerie Eva Vautier, Nice, France (2016); Show me, Galerie Torri, Paris, France (2016); INSULAE 1, SHIN Gallery, New York, USA (2015); Le coeffcient de Poisson, Patio de la Maison rouge, Paris, France (2014); Défigurer, 2014, Galerie Maud Barral, Nice, France; Chjami Rispondi, Galerie TORRI, Paris, France (2013); Matières- Temps, Centre d’Art Contemporain Les églises, Chelles, France (2013); Energie sombre, Musée National Picasso, Vallauris, France (2013); Fondre, battre, briser, Pavillon Blanc, centre d’art de la ville de Colomiers (2013); III, Centre Una Volta, Bastia, Corse, France (2012); Amnésia, Espace Contemporain Domaine Orenga, Patrimonio, Corse, France (2012); Glissements, Le Dojo, Nice, France (2011); Berlin Paris 2011, Galerie Carlier - Gebauer, Berlin, Germany (2011); Hors Gabarit, Galerie TORRI, Paris, France (2010); In Fine, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2010); Shadow Boxing, RDF Galerie, Nice, France (2010); Expanded-Crash, Centre National d’Art Contemporain de la Villa Arson, Nice, France (2009); Expanded-Crash, Module 2, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2009). Selected group exhibitions include: FIAC hors les murs, galerie Ceysson et Benetière, Jardin des Tuileries, Paris, France (2017); Sculptures, matières, matériaux, textures, Galerie Ceysson et Benetière, Foetz, Luxembourg (2016); Art Brussels 2016, Galerie Ceysson et Benetière, Brussels (2016); Sphère, Galleria Continua, Les Moulins, Boissy-leChâtel, France (2015); L’ordre des lucioles, Fondation d’entreprise Ricard, Paris, France (2015); GAS Station, Gagliardi Art System Gallery, Turin, Italy (2015); Art Brussels 2015, stand TORRI, Bruxelles, Belgium (2015); Chercher le Garçon, MAC VAL, Vitry sur Seine, France (2015); Énergie sombre, Artemovendo, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2015); Énergie sombre, ArtVilnius, Vilnius, Lithuania (2015); Énergie sombre, Athens Digital Arts festival, Athens, Greece (2015); Videonale 15, Bonn, Germany (2015).