CLÉMENT COGITORE. Digital Deserts, Evil Eyes and Kids. Photos. 07.01.2020 – 31.01.2020 

Press Release
Exhibition Views

english / deutsch

Clément Cogitore (*1983 in Colmar) has developed his own unique method half way between cinema and contemporary art. Mixing film, video, installation and photography, his work questions man, his soul and his images from rituals, collective memory, representation of the sacred as well as a notions of the subconscious and unseen.

With the series
Digital Desert, 2015, 'the first without human figures', Cogitore shows what is in stake in the transition from the famous 'jungle' weave of brown and khaki military uniforms of the 20th century, to this pixilated motif of the 21st century that scrambles the most sophisticated receptors. Photographed in the Moroccan desert, Cogitore brings to the stage a new camouflage technique called 'digital desert' that allows one to escape not an entrenched enemy anymore but the invisible eye of drones.

Inspired by gatherings, community phenomena and the expression of today’s beliefs – no matter how erratic, widespread or deprived of purpose –, photographs from the series
The Evil Eye are guided by a sense of superstition and articulation of the sacred. Cogitore responds to the generalized and trivialized circulation of images with a visual intensity and sense of story-telling that border on fantasy and science fiction. The artist uses promotional images and transforms them through an ambivalent staging. With The Evil Eye film Clément Cogitore won the Marcel Duchamp Award in 2018 at the Centre Georges Pompidou, National Museum of Modern Art in Paris.

The series of photographs
The Evil Eye (stills) is a collection of stills Cogitore selected from the video – female faces superimposed on corridors lined with endless blocks of the huge data servers storing these same faces in the form of digital data.

The series Kids – photos last seen in the context of The Desolation Door installation, from Cogitore's Notebook for the dramaturgy of the exhibition CHILDHOOD. Another banana day for the dream-fish at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, in 2018, – refer to parental protectiveness of children in our part of the world, on the one hand, and the extreme vulnerability and hightened exposure to internet abuse on the other hand, contributing to premature „disappearance of childhood“ and an „adult-like-child“ enigma. 

Clément Cogitore (*1983, Colmar) lives and works in Paris. His work has notably been screened and exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, the ICA, London, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, the MACRO, Rome, the Flax Foundation, Los Angeles, the MoMA, New York, the MNBA, Québec, the SeMA Bunker, Seoul, the Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing and the Kunsthaus Baselland, Muttenz/Basel. His cinematographic pieces have been selected and awarded prizes in numerous international film festivals: Cannes, Locarno, Telluride, Los Angeles and San Sebastian. In 2015, his first feature film Ni le ciel Ni la terre was selected at the Semaine de la Critique of the Festival de Cannes, awarded by the Gan Foundation, acclaimed by critics and nominated for the best first film at the César Award. The film was shown 2016 in the Galerie Reinhard Hauff. In 2015 he also won the BAL Prize for Contemporary Art, in 2016 the SciencesPo Prize for Contemporary Art as well as the 18th Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard Prize for Contemporary Art and in 2017 the Prize for artists under 35 years at the Kino der Kunst film festival in Munich. To celebrate its 350th anniversary, the Opéra National de Paris has entrusted Cogitore staging the entirety of Jean-Baptiste Rameau’s opera ballet Les Indes galantes, like his film Les Indes galantes he produced in 2017 and which was premiered at the Galerie Reinhard Hauff. The première of Les Indes galantes at the Opéra Bastille, Paris, was in September 2019. With The Evil Eye, 2018, Cogitore won the Marcel Duchamp Award at the Centre Georges Pompidou, National Museum of Modern Art, Paris. Cogitore’s work is represented in several public collections, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, the Fonds national d'art contemporain, Paris, the Fonds municipal d'art contemporain de la Ville de Paris, the FRAC Alsace, Sélesta, the FRAC Aquitaine, Bordeaux, the FRAC Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, the MAC VAL Museum, Vitry-sur-Seine, the Musée d’Art moderne et contemporain de Strasbourg, and in private collections like the Daimler Art collection.