Dorian Gaudin (FR) I will be back sometime

Steel, mechanical parts, electronic parts, paint, wood, spandex; 2017

I will be back sometime, a moving sculpture composed of four vertically stacked steel armatures of different sizes, continues Gaudin’s explorations into the autonomous experience of machines. The artist is known for works that imagine the subjectivity of an object; whether machines come to life when humans leave the room, or perhaps suffer existential anguish when unable to perform a distinct function. Each of the rectangular structural components is set at a different angle and rotates independently at a speed of approximately 20 seconds per turn, causing the whole apparatus to slump, lean, and temporarily stand erect at various moments. The visual effect is one of a crane or oil derrick that has lost its upright strength — and thus, its functionality — awkwardly falling this way and that as it attempts to gain balance. Capping off this humorous notion is a lone plastic leaf adhering to the topmost element, flamboyantly swaying left and right to the machine’s rotations. Just when it seems that the listless contraption, slouching in awkward agony, has all but lost hope, we notice that it is grounded by a sand-colored wooden base, calling to mind a lone palm tree on a diminutive desert island, an association affirmed by a man’s discarded swimsuit. Was it left there by the ‘“I” of “I will be back later”? The title evokes a wistfully romantic notion that whoever has left the scene, perhaps for a quick ocean dip, will soon return and assuage the lonely machine’s loathsome isolation.

Dorian Gaudin (FR)

Dorian Gaudin (b. 1986 in Paris, France) is a New York-based artist who works in sculpture and installation. He studied at the École Nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, Paris (2009), École Nationale supérieure des Beaux Arts, Paris (2011) and Le Fresnoy, Tourcoing, France (2011). His installations often include masterfully engineered machines that lack any explicit purpose, yet move spontaneously, animated from within. These autonomous and unpredictable works of art allow us to question the nature of objects and whether we engage with machines as active users or passive viewers. Gaudin’s work has been shown at galleries and institutions nationally and internationally, including at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris. His work will be exhibited in the Guangzhou Triennial (2018) and the Greater Taipei Biennial of Contemporary Art (2018).