Rather in the image of its title, in this, his first exhibition at Galerie Vallois, Vincent Lamou- roux will propose a logical series of new works. Above will bring together three projects that enter into a subtle dialogue through their relation to immateriality, movement and empti- ness.
Above, which a suggests a territory in suspense, opens with a sign bearing a non-religious, non-commercial slogan that suggestively invites us to consider the aerial space as an infi- nite terrain for potential occupation. In the great metropolises, and most especially in New York, Air Rights are the rights of property owners to a certain amount of air space above their property. Since Manhattan can no longer develop downwards, realtors now make their money by selling “constructible airspace.” This approach is conceived by the artist as a questioning of infinity, of a beyond that, while today it is not strictly delimited, gives rise to considerable monetary transactions. The empty area can be occupied by the buyer as they see fit. The sign Air Rights and Above thus proposes an ultimate invitation to project our- selves into a space that refuses to be circumscribed, and whose leitmotiv (Air) is constantly lighting up and going out so as to attract the viewer’s gaze, inviting them to a flight that is more metaphorical than corporeal, to the possibility of an attraction whose rules they do not yet know.
Juxtaposed with this sculpture designed for an outdoor space, a set of new drawings form the synoptic matrix of an animation film yet to be made, for which Lamouroux has appropria- ted the expressive vocabulary of the attractions to be found on Coney Island in the first half of the twentieth century. That magical theme park for the working population of New York, a fertile terrain for the exploration of modernity, is now completely abandoned while the property developer who has bought part of the land prepares to build on it. Coney Island’s entertainments also gave rise to a number of discoveries symptomatic of the pace of the industrial revolution, from the use of electricity at night to the invention of the elevator. More than just the pasteboard fronts and gaudy colours, it is a whole part of American history and the American dream that will be lost when the site is destroyed. As Rem Koolhaas writes in Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto For Manhattan (Oxford University Press, 1978), Coney Island is the original sketch for the development of Manhattan, the place where its peeling monuments become the terms of a ghost town emptied of its contents and its population, a place where only the names remain and structure a chaotic ground- hugging architecture.
Finally, the installation Attraction proposes a contemplative experience in which emptiness and gravity intertwine. His movement limited by a circular guardrail inspired by the presen- tation of panoramas, the spectator comes to a suspended inflatable sculpture whose perfect transparency catches the eye. The ovoid metal curve forming the perimeter contradicts the orthogonal shape of the space and allows for the 360° contemplation of emptiness, while the structure floats in a breath of air between elevation and fall and tries to physically occupy the space left bare. The luminous Air of the sign Air Rights and Above here becomes the sine qua non of the volume of this sculpture which, in its imposing lightness, encapsulates the unifying idea of the exhibition Above by extending the field of vision upwards.