Since 2010, Gérard Rancinan has been photographing the marine landscapes of his childhood on France’s Atlantic coast. He alone knows the exact location, which he keeps secret. What he does reveal, however, are the moments of silence and respiration that he sought in these sites of memory and reminiscence at different times of the year.

Caroline Gaudriault has transposed his thoughts, translating the artistic representation described by the images. She has superimposed her thoughts on those of the artist. The limit represented by the skyline has become her obsession: a limit presented to humanity’s gaze and a gateway open to the infinite.

The Exhibition

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Another day on earth, rassemble des photographies de Rancinan commencées dans la confidentialité en 2010, qui seront montrées pour la première fois. Elles ont fait l’objet d’une étude qui s’est construite avec le projet d’exposition au Musée océanographique de Monaco. Le paysage choisi est celui de l’enfance de l’artiste, l’océan du Sud-Ouest de la France. L’angle est le même, seuls les instants de la photographie changent.Les photographies en noir et blanc, sur papier fine art, seront suspendues, flottant dans la pièce et donnant l’impression d’un processus de fabrication. Elles seront disposées en un cheminement qui conduira vers une photographie totalement aboutie, monumentale sous diasec et encadrées.

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Dans sa conceptualisation, Caroline Gaudriault est partie cette fois-ci de la proposition photographique et non de la réalité. L’image fantasmée de l’océan a été son point d’ancrage, où sont venues se superposer les couches successives de la pensée et de l’imaginaire. De cette vision devenue abstraite de la ligne d’horizon, elle a fait parler le regard des hommes. Par une écriture libre, elle en raconte le voyage fondamental : le dépassement de soi, la confrontation à l’immensité et l’idéal d’immortalité. En résonnance aux photographies suspendues, des calligraphies d’après ses textes créeront une installation dédiée.

Ce qui unit le photographe et l’écrivain, c’est le postulat donné par un paysage supposé vide dans lequel ils sont allés chercher le langage originel des hommes, toutes les inspirations qui lui permettent de se transcender.

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Oceanographic Museum of Monaco - 2015

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Dubaï - 2016

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Texts & Book

I started with the photograph. I wasn’t inspired by reality but by the sublimated image, the artistic proposal. Of course, I called upon my own mental figuration of the sea, which I superimposed onto that of the artist. But I wanted the photograph to be my primary source of inspiration, almost as if I were rediscovering a place I had known before. I plunged into the abyss of illusions tossed to and fro by the sea. I did not perceive the photograph of the ocean as a still life, a hyperrealist landscape. I saw a representation of it. And the longer I looked at the image, viewing it days apart at different times, the greater the number of successive layers of thought attached themselves to it, a long reflection ceaselessly developed. My imagination remained intact since, until then, I had known nothing of the place. It belongs to the artist alone. I started with a mystery into which, with complete freedom, I was able to project myself. The photograph became monochrome to my gaze, for the seascape gradually faded, leaving only the idea.

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This artistic vision is a parable, the source of a thousand stories. By going beyond the real, we achieve an abstract image. I see only the taut wire between two dark masses, a separation between two immense spaces, the horizon. Like an incision in the canvas by Lucio Fontana, the skyline incrusts its trace within the photograph, thereby becoming the central point of the work. It is even more haunting than I thought. It is all I perceive, forgetting the wind, the waves, the noise, the energy of the sea. It is no longer a matter of sensations; it is about projecting myself into the frame. It seems reassuring because it provides immensity with visual outline; it serves as a point of reference enabling us to confront space. The horizon is a limit, but it is the horizon that opens the infinite to us.

From this supposedly empty seascape, we hear the silent language of men. This is where the writer joins the photographer and pursues his intention. For the first, the photograph is a way of capturing an image of his childhood, intimate memories, a site of recollection. Like a repetitive musical theme from which he draws inspiration, the artist returns to the same frame and transforms it into an obsession that brings back to life moments experienced and hopes fantasized, according to the changing humours of the seasons. This ocean on France’s south-west coast next to which he grew up is also the point of departure for his own achievements.

Fixing our gaze on the sea transports us into a painting from the Renaissance, a period in which, for the first time, the horizon was represented from the perspective of an open window, with, perhaps, a skyline in the background. It is remembering the first sepia images by Gustave Le Gray. It takes our sight further, beyond the tangible vista. It plunges us into dreams, into the earliest fears of men, inspired by the vision of the infinite, the source of their ambitions. Everything started there. The history of Man finds its origins in this representation of an absolute ideal.

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The inaccessible horizon is, no doubt, the most accurate metaphor for human transgression. Men asked no more than to cross it, even though they knew that they were unable to. They spend their lives rising to the challenge. All of them already know that the journey will come to nothing, but they all commit to it anyway. We shall always be these voyagers, advancing towards this line of incision, with varying degrees of faith, various degrees of hope, various degrees of courage and curiosity, but advancing nonetheless for as long as a belief in the promises of the infinite persists. Not to circumscribe human beings is to give them a shot at eternity …

The authors

Gérard Rancinan

Frenchman Gérard Rancinan is an internationally recognized artist and photographer. His photographic works are included in great contemporary art collections and displayed in prestigious museums the world over. A wakeful witness of the metamorphoses undergone by humanity, Rancinan observes the world and delivers an uncompromising critique of the humours of the “Modern”.
Through his protean photography, in which form and content are always linked, Rancinan seeks to translate the questions attached to the deviances and contradictions of society. He never gives absolution, and, in spite of the occasional cruelty of his gaze, he never fails to show everything.
“Free thinker” is assuredly the only title to which he lays claim and to which he dedicates his life and work.
He is known not only for the relevance of his oeuvre, but also for the monumental size of his photographic works.
Rancinan is an Officier des Arts et Lettres and has won, among other things, six World Press awards.

His work has been featured in exhibitions at, among other places, the National Portrait Gallery in London; the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco; the Shanghai Himalayas Museum; the Louvre Lens, France; the Fondation Pinault de Dinard, France; the Oscar Niemayer Museum, Curitiba, Brazil; the Muséé des Arts et Métiers, Paris; the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum, Bratislava; and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.


Caroline Gaudriault

Author, designer of the calligraphic installation

Born in Paris, Caroline Gaudriault is the author of around a dozen books translated into English, and even Chinese. Long an independent journalist, she has worked with a series of international magazines. Her reportages have taken her around the world, where she has been able to observe human beings confronted by their modernity and to analyze its consequences.

She has conducted wide-ranging interviews with the leading thinkers of the day, interviews that have helped her develop her thought and which inform her detailed analyses of our humanity. Thus, the major figures of modern thought are happy to participate in her personal quest. The American political scientist and philosopher Francis Fukuyama was a major contributor to her most recent book.

She exhibits her texts in calligraphic installations, gradually adding the languages of the countries in which the host museums are located.

A Small Man in a Big World, Editions Paradox and Guangxi Normal University Press Group, 2014, with Francis Fukuyama
The Trilogy of the Moderns
Metamorphoses, Part 1, Editions Paradox, 2012
Hypotheses, Part 2, Editions Paradox, 2011
Wonderful World, Part 3, Editions Biro, 2009
The Photographer, Edition de la Martinière and Abrams, 2008, by Caroline Gaudriault and Gérard Rancinan
Urban Jungle, Edition de la Martinière, 2000, by Gérard Rancinan, with a preface by Caroline Gaudriault


2000 to 2016

Base sous-marine, Bordeaux, France, 2016
Exhibition “ Scarcity of Miracle”

Urban Spree, Berlin, Germany, 2016
Exhibition “The Destiny of Men” Parts I & II

Montresso Art Foundation, Jardin Rouge, Marrakech, Morocco, 2016
Exhibition “Rancinan in Morocco” – inaugural exhibition for the museum of the Montresso Art Foundation

Kasteel van Gaasbeek, Brussels, Belgium, 2016
Collective Exhibition “Divine Decadence”, an exhibition in collaboration with Mechelen-based theatre group Abattoir Fermé, inspired by the book A Rebours by Joris-Karl Huysmans

Accademia delle Arti del Disegno, Firenze, Italy, 2016
Exhibition “The Destiny of Men”, in collaboration with the author Caroline Gaudriault

Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, Lille, France, from september 2015 to january 2016
Collective Exhibition - « Joie de Vivre »
Curator: Bruno Girveau

National Portrait Gallery, London, UK, 2015
Permanent Collection - « Barry McGuigan »
Curator : Paul Ardenne

Couvent des Cordeliers, Paris, France, happening from june 11 to june 14, 2015
Solo exhibition – « The Destiny of Men »
Curator : Paul Ardenne

Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, Monaco, april – june 2015-09-15
Solo exhibition – « Another Day on Earth »

Museum of Huelva, Spain, 2015
« The Trilogy of the Moderns »

Himalayas Art Contemporary Museum, Shanghai, China, sept-nov 2014
Solo exhibition - « The Trilogy of the Moderns »
50th anniversary for diplomatic relations betwwen France and China

Sinan Mansions, Shanghai, China, sept-nov 2014
Solo exhibition - « A Small Man in a Big World »

The Louvre Lens Museum, Lens, France, 2013 - 2018
« The liberty unveiled»

Quai d’Orsay, Ministery of Foreign affairs, Paris, France, 2013 - 2015
« Batman Family Boys»

Pinault Foundation and the city of Dinard, France, june - sept 2014
Collective exhibition with Jeff Koons, Andres Serrano, Subodh Gupta, Joel-Peter Witkin
Presentation of « the big supper »
Curator : Jean-Jacques Aillagon

Museo Oscar Niemeyer, Curitiba, Brazil, june 2014
Collective exhibition - « A Wonderful World ».

Art Contemporary Museum (MAC) of Lyon, France, feb-april 2014
Collective exhibition - « Moto Poétique ».
Curator : Paul Ardenne

Arts et Métiers Museum, Paris, France, oct - nov 2013
Solo exhibition - « The feast of Barbarians »

Danubiana Contemporary Art Museum of Bratislava, Slovakia, may– sept 2013
Solo exhibition - « The Trilogy of the Moderns »
Curator : Vincent Polakovic

Contemporary Art Museum Les Abattoirs of Toulouse, France, sept - oct 2012
Printemps de Septembre 2012 « L’Histoire est à moi ! »
Curator: Paul Ardenne
Collective exhibition with Anselm Kiefer, Pierre&Gilles, Mounir Fatmi

Londonewcastle Project Space, Shoreditch, London, Great Britain, june 2012
« Wonderful World »

Triennale di Milano, Milan, Italy, may 2012
Solo exhibition - « The Trilogy of the Moderns »
Curator : Claudio De Albertis

Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, La Haye, Holland, 2011
Reflex Miniature Museum – exposition collective avec Damien Hirst- George Baselitz – Yayoi Kusama- Roy Lichtenstein -

Chapelle Saint-Sauveur, Paris/Issy les Moulineaux, France, 2011
Solo exhibition - « Hypothèses »

The Louvre bookstore Paris, France, 2010
« Metamorphosis »

Galerie Rudolfinum, Musée des Arts Décoratifs of Praha, Czech Republic 2010
Exposition collective en compagnie de Damien Hirst, Andres Serrano, Cindy Sherman
« Decadence Now »

Barbizon, France, 2010
Collectiv exhibition with Combas, Erro, Klasen, Monory
« 150 artists for the 150 years of the Angelus of Millet»

Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France, nov-dec 2009
Solo exhibition - « Métamorphosis »
Curator : Marc-Olivier Wahler

Palazzio delle Esposizioni, Roma, Italy, may - july 2009
Exposition personnelle - « Le Photographe »

Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2008
Solo exhibition - « The Photographer »

Triennale Bovisa, Milano, Italy, july - sept 2008
Solo exhibition - « La Trilogie du Sacré Sauvage »

Barcelona Art Contemporary Museum (MACBA), Spain, 2007
Collectiv exhibition

Espace Pierre Cardin Paris, France, 2000
Solo exhibition - « Urban Jungle »

Contact & Partners

Gérard Rancinan and Caroline Gaudriault
are represented worldwide by :

Fine Art Cube
+33 (0) 1 56 20 15 40


Our Partners :

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