OWEN PIPER AND LILI REYNAUD-DEWAR ON HOW TO TALK DIRTY AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE
Curated by Samuel Leuenberger & Elise Lammer
16 Jun – 28 Aug 2016

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Opening: Thursday, 16 June, 6pm
Performance by Owen Piper and Lili Reynaud-Dewar at 8.30pm

Owen Piper and Lili Reynaud-Dewar met at the Glasgow School of Art while studying their MFA. They graduated in 2003. The same year, Piper was Reynaud-Dewar’s best man at her wedding. They were both born in 1975, but not in the same
country: Piper is British and Reynaud-Dewar is French.

Archiving ideas, producing on average three paintings a day, Piper is inspired by everything from international politics to footballers boots and from animals habits to fancy cars. The work has a firm grip on reality and daily news, crafted with a straightforward and a slightly irreverent approach the compulsive collection of eclectic references results into a feed of images and abstract colourful compositions. A glance into his prolific personal archive of work, the artist picked over 100 paintings he has produced since 2009. Assembled in clusters, one can guess topics and motives dear to the artist, while some cleverly staged proximity between some works spark a humorous narrative in dialogue with Reynaud-Dewar
films.

Reynaud-Dewar studied ballet and law before pursuing art criticism, and simultaneously developing an artistic practice. Following, the artist has never failed to include aspects and skills taken from her previous professional lives. Spanning over the four walls of SALTS, the installation by Reynaud-Dewar is a seven-channel continuous loop compiling all the films the artist produced so far. The films document dance performances that usually take place in the institutions the artist visits or collaborates with. A continuous and evolving archive of the artist’s life and travels, they include aspects of her research, while reflecting on the qualities (architectural, social and political) of the spaces she performs within.

For their first institutional collaboration in Switzerland, the two artists propose to adopt the form of a retrospective, even a biographical approach. They propose an exhaustive choice of works that juxtaposes and confronts both their artistic production in a cluster-style hanging. Here, the two artists hung and projected their artworks side by side and on top of each other, from corner-to-corner and floor-to-ceiling, without following any specific pattern. This system simultaneously celebrates their long-term friendship and highlights the contrasts and similarities in their work and lives. Their immersive, prolific, repetitive and often humorous exhibition at SALTS questions what makes an artist make the work he or she makes, how this work is perceived by a wider public, what is an artist’s career and what is an artist’s life.

Owen Piper, born London 1975, studied at Central Saint Martins in London,
University of Newcastle upon Tyne and Glasgow School of art. Lives and works
in Glasgow.

Lili Reynaud-Dewar (born La Rochelle, France, 1975) lives and works in Grenoble,
France. Recent solo exhibitions and projects have been presented at Kunsthalle
Basel in 2010, at Magasin in Grenoble in 2012, at the New Museum in New
York in 2014, at Audain Gallery in Vancouver in 2015. She has also exhibited her
work at Generali Foundation in Vienna in 2012, at Centre Pompidou in 2010 and
2013, at Witte de With in Rotterdam in 2011 and 2014, at CAPC in Bordeaux in
2008 and 2013. Her work was included in the 56th Biennale in Venice in 2015,
and in the Biennale of Lyon in 2013, as well as the 5th Berlin Biennale in 2008.
Reynaud-Dewar has held a professorship at the Haute Ecole d’Art et de Design,
Geneva, since 2010, and she co-founded the feminist journal Pétunia in 2011.

SALTS is kindly supported by Swisslos Basel-Landschaft, Fondation Nestlé pour
l’Art, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and Stiftung Roldenfund.