Olivier Gain

2136 brumaire - Installation - 2017

présentée dans le cadre de l'exposition panorama 19


The encounter between the spectators and the telegraph happens in two stages. They are two, very distinct experiences. The first is that of a kinetic, luminous object positioned in the exhibition’s nearby vicinity. We look at it from one of the overhead footbridges located on Le Fresnoy’s roof. From this perspective, the object shown remains mysterious, its purpose unreadable. It continues to compose a whole series of movements. Some seem to be waving and repeat as though an attempt at communication had been initiated by the telegraph. At night, it lights up and continues to swing. From this viewpoint, we could think of it as a merry-go-round of sensations.
The semaphore signal has been placed on the roof of the Imaginarium in the city, so as to emphasise the connection that it maintains with the horizon and the city’s perspective. Once inside the exhibition, visitors will have access to the hidden meaning of this machine placed in the landscape. Opposite them, a series of screens decrypt in real time the messages transmitted by the telegraph. The latter is also visible via a video retransmission. As the signs are imitated by the semaphore, translations appear in subtitles a little like on a subtitled film. If they wish, visitors can influence the composition of the messages broadcast.
A tactile tablet accompanies them in the choice of content to be sent. Once the writing of the message is finished, visitors can witness its broadcast in real time by the telegraph.
The messages composed by earlier visitors are also visible. Afterwards, they will constitute a register and will replace those that the vagaries of history have made disappear.

Olivier Gain

Olivier Gain was born in 1986 in France and graduated from the Ecole des Beaux-arts Angoulême/Poitiers.
His work takes ordinary objects and presents them in an unusual way. By amplifying or transposing one of the object's characteristics, he thus reveals phenomena or processes that would normally remain intangible. These elements are therefore from one field of perception to another. In this way, he attempts to confront the spectator with events that are normally excluded from the 'real world' or, more to the point, inaccessible to our senses. This implies a process of transposition from one state or space to another.
His work has been shown in different art spaces or digital/sound events such as FRAC Angoulême, the Nemo biennial hosted at the Chateau Ephémère and at City Sonic sound art festival.


Bertrand Scalabre, Pablo Valbuena, Christophe Gregório, Donna Ragno, Hocine Farhi, Cyprien Quairiat, Valérie Delhaye, Guillaume Libersat, Monsieur Barbet, la promotion Manoel de Oliveira, l'Imaginarium.


Le Fresnoy - Studio national des arts contemporains, Tourcoing