Gabriel Lester


Promenade des Champions

Horaire : 29th April 2016

Photo credit : © Gabriel Lester

Amsterdam-based Gabriel Lester is a versatile visual artist working across sculpture, video, music, performance and installation; he has exhibited around the globe including the Sao Paulo Biennial and Documenta in Kassel. Lester is fascinated by suspension of disbelief – the power of illusion despite of our better knowledge. Often in his work he creates a moment in which we experience a kind of magic trick and yet are made perfectly aware of its machinations. So it is the case with the piece Lester has especially created for Nuit Blanche. Placed along the Walk of Champions near Grimaldi Forum, the four objects emit sounds that sound otherworldly and almost electronic, yet are actually created solely by wind passing through the wood and metal construction. The title of these ‘Aeolian’ or wind harps, Vayu-Vata, is borrowed from two Indo-Iranian words that together mean ‘wind and atmosphere’ or ‘space and time’.

Born in Amsterdam in 1972, Gabriel Lester was simultaneously a graffiti artist, musician, film-maker, writer and creator of performances before venturing into the field of visual arts. His body of work is therefore varied, encompassing installations, performances, cinematographic works and videos. The artist likes to “tell” stories by constructing environments that support these stories, offering a unique narrative interpretation. Like cinema, Gabriel Lester’s practice delights in occupying both time and space. His installations seek to produce dramatic tension and challenge the role of the observer. The tension created can be either implicitly narrative, explicitly visual, or both at once. The artist poses questions about our perception of the world, how it is presented, and the mechanisms and components that enable us to comprehend it.

Solo exhibitions: MACBA, Buenos Aires (2014); Leo Xu Projects, Shanghai (2014); Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2011). Group exhibitions: Biennale of Sydney (2014); Venice Biennale (2013); documenta, Kassel (2012).