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Critical Practice

Léa Porré


I'm a French and Belgian artist based in London and I graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2018.

Recent online solo shows include Versaliae at Off Site Project (current), Eternal Returns at The Wrong TV, Dear One at Virginia Bianchi Gallery.

Selected recent group shows; History of Fantasy at Everyday Gallery, Antwerp curated by Emmanuelle Luciani, Dia Cero at Palacio de Aguas Corrientes, Buenos Aires, Everything Forever at Mattflix, Matt's Gallery, online, OUT OF TOUCH at Lux London, curated by Hervisions, How to inhabit the screen at Espacio Odéon, Bogota.

Selected residences; >>Ghosted 2018<< at Akademie Schloss Solitude Stuttgart & the Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe.




I compose speculative and transhistorical narratives that share a fluid relation to time and reality, by re-imagining and de-constructing iconic imagery, rituals and beliefs, to uncover the subjective frame of history.

My practice is a critical re-reading of French Monarchy and the Long Middle Ages, deeply rooted in a cyclical vision of History and its eternal return, coming from a double-lens of mythology and geology. 

My aim is to construct a space of healing that emerges from excavating our own Past — critically, yet allowing a sense of re-enchantment — in a true quest of interconnectedness, where human and deep time collapse.

Recently, I have been speculating on a return of French Monarchy where my ‘Other King’ takes the shape of a failed wellness guru, a sacrificial vessel, a choose your own adventure character, and an alchemical master.



Ranging from video, to interactive games, digital prints or physical installations, my works narrate an impossible encounter between forms of life (Kings, volcanoes, creatures) that inhabit these alternate worlds altogether.

Looking towards building better futures, I wish to retake control from the enframing dualist narratives in aims of in-between, formless, floating narratives.

​I build alternate worlds, using digital tools that transgress the boundaries of the real and the virtual, facts and fictions.

Interregnum — Still.
Interregnum — Still.

Commissioned by Southway Studio Emmanuelle Luciani for 'History of Fantasy' at Everyday Gallery, Antwerp


Medium:

Video • cgi world
Versaliae — Room: 𝔊𝔦𝔣𝔱 𝔖𝔥𝔬𝔭
Versaliae — Room: 𝔓𝔞𝔩𝔞𝔠𝔢 𝔬𝔣 𝔇𝔯𝔢𝔞𝔪𝔰
Versaliae — Room: 𝔗𝔥𝔢𝔱𝔶𝔰 𝔊𝔯𝔬𝔱𝔱𝔬
Versaliae — Room: 𝔒𝔯𝔞𝔫𝔤𝔢𝔯𝔦𝔢
Versaliae — Room: 𝔖𝔞𝔩𝔬𝔫 𝔬𝔣 𝔇𝔬𝔬𝔪

"You are awake. Yes, that’s right, you are not dead. You are the Ghost of Louis XIV. And you are on a mission, or shall we call it a quest…"

'Harkening back to choose-your-own-adventure books, early text-based video games and two-dimensional dungeon explorations, Off Site Project is excited to present a new interactive narrative experience created by the French-Belgian artist Léa Porré.'

To play Versaliae go to the Off Site Project homepage where you can launch the game and map in pop-up windows. 

Continuing Porré’s ongoing exploration into French history and the allure of monarchy, Versaliae functions as a playful narrative concealing an examination of the cyclical rearticulation of Versailles throughout the ages. Dislodged from the 17th century, the Palace and King along with it, appears in the imagination of turn-of-the-century English tourists, a ‘Mad’ German King, a Floridian socialite and beauty pageant director, and Turkish property developers. To find peace, Louis must contend with the incessant hyperreal echoes of his reign.

Throughout the journey players will encounter a series of theatrical digitally staged sets created by Porré to illustrate her narrative imagination. Each is composed in an ethereal skybox, lavishly decorated within a 3D game engine, constituting a new series of artworks that fuse retro game logics with contemporary design technologies.'


Medium:

Game and solo show at Off Site Project, composed of 24 cgi worlds, videos, images and text
.Maar. — HD Video, 04'24''
.Maar. — Still.
.Maar. — Still.

".Maar.’ is Léa Porré’s latest video project that follows her ongoing exploration of her country’s medieval history as well as world-wide mythology. 

Based on her research on volcanism in France as well as local tales and folklore, .Maar. narrates a fictional travel of a geologist encountering Lac Pavin — a truly mysterious and unique lake — for the first time.

Located in France, in the volcanic region of Auvergne, Lac Pavin is on top of a supposedly dormant volcano, whose latest eruption dates back 6000 years. Since then, many other sightings have been reported for centuries and became part of local folklore. Becoming a place where myth and reality collide, its very name draws its roots from latin ‘pavens’, a dreading lake ‘where the Devil resides’. 

This geological site becomes a set for Porré’s video, in which the narrator’s encounter with the lake gives way to something much more mysterious, an intimate one-to-one connection with the lake as we learn that it contains a form of life reminiscent of the times of primordial life — an impossible rendez-vous with our own genesis. 

Porré’s .Maar. offers a captivating transhistorical disjointed narrative, rendering excavation and ritual, legend and fantasy as one."


Medium:

Series of digital prints, text and HD Video
Dear One, Dear Dead — Print.
Dear One, Dear Dead — Print.
Dear One, Dear Dead — Print.
Dear One, Dear Dead — Print.
Dear One, Dear Dead — Print.

"Dear One, Dear Dead, investigates the decapitation of King Louis XVIth in 1793, in light of the worldwide mythological pattern of the Sacrificial King. It develops in 3 Acts, reflecting the three stages of Porré’s fictional Sacrifice: the First Act illustrates the Event of the regicide itself. As it often happen in Porré’s works, she chooses not to explicitly reveal the sacrifice. On the contrary, she inserts a number of elements that, together with the hidden connections to historical documents, assist the viewer in a gradual decipherment of the scene. On a mysterious altar, absorbed by a bloody, apocalyptic atmosphere, the cathartic sacrifice of the King is carried out.

The second Act of the show is dedicated to the Feast, or the celebrations for the Sacrifice of the King. The event evokes ancient societies’ feasts where facsimiles of the King’s organs, and Royal effigies made of dough, were prepared for all the people to eat during a celebratory banquet. It is a time to celebrate the momentary chaos that announces the return of societal order. In the in-between reality of the scene, the landscape is dominated by a magnificent banquet, whose lavishness, however, cannot conceal the feeling of uneasiness and dissolution evoked by the complete absence of people and the disquieting food on the tables: baked goods in the shape of organs of the Sacrificial King.

The third and last Act of the show consists of an early-morning dispersion of the fragmented body of the King. Once again reminiscent of ancient myths where the body of divine figures was dispersed across fields, the royal body is scattered across the lands and fertilises the crops, literally becoming nourishment of his people, satisfying their hunger as he failed to do during his living."

Medium:

Series of digital prints and interactive web-page, made for my solo show Dear One at Virginia Bianchi Gallery
Royal Fate is Fluid — Still.
Royal Fate is Fluid — Print.
Royal Fate is Fluid — Print.

'Royal Fate is Fluid' follows along the journey of King Louis XVIth’s head, severed from his body in 1793, towards its regeneration across the Atlantic. It will meet otherworldly deep sea creatures that nurture him to a divine state, to end up as a castaway on a Bahamian island, soon to realise his gift of healing are interesting other parties, with a very different agenda.

Medium:

HD Video + Series of Prints