Frame 61

Léa Porré

Frame 61
Léa Porré

“I feel 3-D technologies definitely altered the real and how we relate to such space, they opened up so many possibilities for production and discussion, for artists and thinkers.”

Interview by: Simek Shropshire


Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your background? Where did you study?

I am a French and Belgian artist, born in Paris in 1996, and I have been living in London for 7 years, with a two year Foundation in between in Paris at the Atelier de Sèvres.

Last July, I graduated from Central Saint Martins, BA Fine Arts and I am currently undertaking an MA of Contemporary Art Practice (Critical Practice Pathway) at the Royal College of Art, planning to graduate in 2020.

Royalist Dream 2018

Do you feel that the implementation of 3-D technologies results in an appropriation, a construction, or an alteration of reality and spatiality? What does it mean for these digital hyperrealities to transcend a fact/fiction binary, particularly within a Post-Internet Art movement context? 

I feel 3-D technologies definitely altered the real and how we relate to such space, they opened up so many possibilities for production and discussion, for artists and thinkers. 

At the same time, I strongly believe that every new ground-breaking technology of their time did the same, photography, printing, writing… Each of these opened up a new virtual space that had to cope with our exiting “real” space. 

Maybe the difference today is the difficulty in determining the boundary from one to another, from the real to the non-real, to something else. 

For me, it shows the limits of the binary model, and highlights the actual fluid nature of all things, beyond good or bad, real or fake, sacred and profane, which are only subjective human constructs.

How does the Internet function as an aesthetic device when there is a constantly evolving mass dissemination of creative content information online?

All stages of the internet have functioned as aesthetic devices, with each time showcasing particular sensibilities. 

I think mass dissemination of creative content has brought forth a fear of standardisation, but at the same time, it gave access to the most diverse information ever regrouped on one space.

What I think is most interesting in this discussion is the issue of algorithms behind the scenes, and who decides what you should see, for what reason, and how. 

I believe we gained from it a higher degree of awareness and opened up the debate on the biased nature of any information — whether it is today’s, online and offline, or in re-reading ancient historians’ texts. 

You state that your practice “looks into our relation to various forms of the Sacred” and that your “main focus lies in the formation of our common beliefs, which, I believe arises in the relation of Power between the institution/media and the general public.” It’s interesting that you explore these philosophical concepts through a technological medium, which could be seen as being at odds with such theoretical explorations. Could you expand on the dialogue that emerges between the technological and the metaphysical in your practice, particularly in a work such as Royalist Dream?

As I started to evoke previously, using latest technologies that blurs the limits of the real is a perfect medium for me to investigate and underline the limits of binarity in general, a model of opposition which lays ground for our belief system. 

Royalist Dream shows that exactly; the opening up of possibilities when the boundaries begin to blur, where the real and the dream coincide, when the virtual seems more truthful, when the hyperreal takes over.

Royalist Dream is a Royalist TV Channel, where it is announced that the King is back in France, it announces an Event, but nothing ‘really’ happens and it goes straight into the aftermath; collectible figurines are being sold, buyer’s testimony are broadcasted. 

Again, it aims to show how our access to the real and the event is mediated, how it is only but a particular version of what really happened.

I think I have always been attracted to, and influenced by esoteric practices which aim at transcending reality through an altered state of mind — where the real starts to fade.

This idea of putting someone in a state of discomfort, of ungroundedness, to break away from an imposed binary vision of the world, is for sure present in my practice, where I like to play with familiar elements that gradually appear out-of-synch.

Shipment Lost at Sea

Alexander the Great (2018)

101 Archaeology (2017)

101 Archaeology (2017)

101 Archaeology (2017)

101 Archaeology (2017)

Royalist Dream 2018 (installation shot)

Royalist Dream 2018 (installation shot)

Tell us a bit about how you spend your day / studio routine? What is your studio like?

A couple of times a week I go to the Royal College of Art (in Battersea) for lectures and meetings. For the first time of my life, my studio is a nominated desk space, so I’m still figuring out how to deal with that…

The rest of the time I really enjoy working from my home in Kensington, trying to keep up with never-ending lists of things to research and piles to read.

My practice ends up being much longer periods of research and project planning, then, shorter intense periods of production or installation time. 

Most of my research pops up couples of weeks/months later and directly feeds my practice. It’s an exciting process to go back and see where some of the ideas originally spread from; a documentary, an image, a historical event.

I am always working on many projects at once, so they evolve together, or go in different directions, but they all reflect specific concerns and interests. 

I spend most of my time alone, with my whole week scheduled in advance, I cook a lot and go to the gym. I must admit I also get a lot of inspiration from its fetishistic vibe; I would love to show work there at some point, or bring the gym to the gallery space.

What artwork have you seen recently that has resonated with you?

The Bill Viola and Michelangelo exhibition at the Royal Academy was definitely a big highlight for me this past few months. I was mesmerised by Viola’s Five Angels for the Millennium as I got to spend quite a lot of time there on my own.

Another London exhibition that I loved was I am Ashurbanipal, King of a World, King of Assyria at the British Museum, a very unique exhibition that focused on creating a very personal connection to this long-lost figure.

I also went to the English National Opera to attend Philip Glass’ Akhenaten, and I think the decor, the staging will have a longtime influence on me! 

Strangely, I haven’t been to that many contemporary art exhibitions recently, but I discovered a few historical places like the Leighton House Museum and castles around Paris; Maisons-Lafitte, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Malmaison.

Is there anything new and exciting in the pipeline you would like to tell us about?

I just had my first show in my hometown, Paris, in a new exciting artist-run space called Placement Produit, and it’s opened until the 23rd of March.

Opening next month is a new online project with DATE AGLE and Off Site Project, where I will be the 3rd artist featured in the year long exhibition Spread the Virus (part 2). 

The work follows up my ongoing investigation of a fictional royalist movement, an imagined return of the King in France, and the building up to such event.

Very excited about this as I wanted to work with both those curators, so it’s an amazing opportunity.

With other artists from the RCA we also got invited by Mark Leckey to take over his monthly slot on NTS Radio, so you should hear soon some fictional royalist news. It’s a very different medium to work with, so I immediately went on board and produced some new sound works for that. It will air on the 2nd April.

I also wanted to share that I will have my first solo show, in France, this September, at the Chateau de Lantheuil.

Also, scheduled later in 2020: my Degree Show at the RCA!


All images courtesy of the artist
Publish date: 02/04/2019