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Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster

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Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster (born 30 June 1965, in Strasbourg) is a French artist and an influential figure in international contemporary art. She is known for her great variety of work in video projection, photography, and spatial installations. She has worked in landscaping, design, and writing. "I always look for experimental processes. I like the fact that at the beginning I don't know how to do things and then, slowly, I start learning. Often exhibitions don't give me this learning possibility anymore."

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster was born in Strasbourg, France in 1965. At the age of 17, she worked as a museum guard in Grenoble while studying at the École du Magasin of the National Centre of Contemporary Art in Grenoble. She also studied at the Institute des Hautes Études en Arts Plastiques, in Paris. She began her career as an artist in the 1990s, working primarily in film. Her early work was mainly short, minimalistic and oneiric films. She now collaborates on everything from the writing of a science fiction novel with fellow artist Philippe Parreno to working with rock singer Alain Bashung on set design. She has also collaborated with fashion house Balenciaga in designing displays for their fashion boutiques in New York and Paris. She has even designed a house for a collector in Tokyo.

Inspired by film, literature, modernist architecture, and art history, her work is often characterized by a quiet, intimate interrogation of contemporary urban life. Often she will use fragments from her international travels in her work and reassembles them into something new. "My approach to art is quite radical. It has more to do with theater and staging than making objects such as paintings or sculptures. Sometimes I think that the fetishism of objects is pathetic. It's one way to deal with art, but I'm obsessed with other things". She also hopes that her installations will encourage people to interact with them. "I want to coax people to engage with my art, in the same way that a writer might entice people to read a book". She was the recipient of an artist residency in Villa Kujoyama, Kyoto in 1996, the Mies van der Rohe Award in Krefeld in 1996, and the 2002 Marcel Duchamp award in Paris. For the season 2015/2016 in the Vienna State Opera Gonzalez-Foerster designed a large-scale picture (176 sqm) as part of the exhibition series "Safety Curtain", conceived by museum in progress. She currently lives and works in Paris and Rio de Janeiro.

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The show was entitled "The Unilever Series: Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster: TH.2058" and appeared in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern in London from October 14, 2008 to April 13, 2009. At the opening of the show Dominique said, " Some months ago, I used to wake up in the silence of the night to think about what I was going to do. But not anymore. People ask me, 'Are you scare?' No, I am not scared. If I was, I wouldn't do it. Rather, I'm excited. I am putting one third of my energy into just staying calm. The work is on such a scale that if you got too excited, you would explode,". The show was her first public commission in the UK and filled half of the 3,400 square meter hall. "TH.2058 by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, imagines Tate Modern 50 years into the future, set in a London afflicted by perpetual rain. Tate Modern is being used as a shelter for people, a storage space for art works and for the remains of culture. The vast Turbine Hall is filled with monumental replicas of iconic sculptural works. Rows of bunk beds are scattered with books, and on a giant screen The Last Film is continuously running. Made up of short excerpts from science-fiction films, The Last Film suggests a potential state of catastrophe as well as the possibility of collective memory,".

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