Tulca, Festival of Visual Arts, Syntonic State 2018
Curated by Linda Shevlin

Venue: 126 Artist-run Gallery:
Cyprien Gaillard, Cities of Gold and Mirrors
November 2 – 18, 2018

Still image from “Cities of Gold and Mirrors”

A series of vignettes take place in the Mexican city of Cancún, drawing attention to the relationship between architecture, time and experience, and the confrontation between ancient and modern culture. The film shows a group of young spring breakers drinking bottles of tequila which are emblazoned with Mayan iconography on their labels. We see dolphins idly swimming past Brutalist architecture and a gang member dressed in a bright red bandana covering his hair and face, performing a ritualistic dance in the ancient El Ray ruins that sit on the edge of this hedonistic Mecca. An interior courtyard teems with hanging plants as though nature is on the verge of taking over culture; a mirrored building wobbles and is brought to the ground with a controlled explosion, and the lighting rig of a nightclub casts its lasers as though a spaceship. Uniting each film is the sound of mystical, futuristic synthesizers, taken from The Mysterious Cities of Gold, a French Japanese cartoon about Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors in 16th century Latin America. The images and soundtrack amount to an investigation into the archaeological impulse of science fiction, and how in the context of Cancun, the present cannot be separated from the ancient past. City of Gold and Mirrors is presented in partnership with the French Embassy in Ireland. www.ambafrance-ie.org, Cyprien Gaillard is represented by SPRÜTH MAGERS.

Still image from “Cities of Gold and Mirrors”


Cyprien Gaillard (born 1980, Paris) studied in Lausanne and lives and works in Berlin. He has been the recipient of a number of awards including Melbourne International Film Festival Award for Best Experimental Short (2016) and the Preis der Nationalgalerie für junge Kunst (2011). Solo exhibitions include K20 – Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf (2016), MoMA PS1 (2013), Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2013), Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan (2012), Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin (2012), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2011, 2008), KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, and Centre Georges Pompidou, Metz (both 2011), Zollamt, Frankfurt am Main, Kunsthalle Basel (both 2010), and Tate Modern, Trubine Hall, London (2009). Major group shows include Gropius Bau, Berlin, Germany (2018), ARoS Triennial, ARoS Art Museum, Aarhus, Denmark, The Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing, China, The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC (all 2017), Hayward Gallery, London (2016), 13th Biennale de Lyon, La vie moderne, Lyon (2015), Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (2012), the 54th Biennale di Venezia, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (both 2011), MoMA, New York, Gwangju Biennal, South Korea (both 2010), Generali Foundation, Vienna (2009), and the 5th Berlin Biennale (2008).