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By Florian Gaite

Through autobiography and autofiction, Paul Garcin’s work draws from pop culture the forms of a critical discourse of the values it conveys. His performances, installations and videos deconstruct the misogyny of the industry, the reign of competitivity and cult of money by adopting the codes that allows advertising of it. Humorously addressing issues of gender, sexuality and self-representation, his works play with stereotypes to reveal their fictitious nature. Also, we can see him interpreting some of Beyonce’s most iconic postures, the archetype of the powerful and seductive woman, doing karaoke in the middle of the Texan desert or filming, between Miami and Menton, the video of a fictive duet with Queen B. This piece is integrated to a performed conference in which Paul Garcin switches from Beyonce’s Lemonade to Menton’s Lemon Festival, from the Chicano culture to Princess Stephanie of Monaco, leveling informations to deconstruct their hierarchies.

He presents several pieces inspired by his recent trip to Los Angeles, the epicenter of the American dream, which in his eyes has become the place of all disillusions. He films a young dancer he met on the walk of fame, unfortunate candidate for the success, facing the reality of his desires. His choreography echoes Paul Garcin’s performance Dancing on my own, in which he projects the capture. He adopts the same posture (mask and earphones on his ears) while dancing as if no one was looking at him. With Rizon Printz, the teenage bubble takes on a more dramatic sense of isolation, with the public no longer seeing the dancer’s art as anything more than an intimate refuge. Paul Garcin extends this bittersweet testimony with a video made in situ (...).In Welcome to L.A., the lyrics of a song are projected on the artist’s body while he sings them in playback. This lyrics-video, conceived on the model of karaoke clips, returns to the gap between his fantasies as a young man, crossing the Atlantic with glitter in his eyes, and the violence of the American social reality he finds himself confronted with. Ode to doubt and disappointment, ironically sung to a pop tune, the piece thus dilutes his dream of a success story in an incredulous and disenchanted statement.


Florian Gaité

Catalog Notice of the 13th Biennial of Young Creation

Florian Gaité
Anaïd Demir
FELICITA_2019_Paul Garcin.jpg



Text by Céline Enanga, about DANCING ON MY OWN #2


Paul Garcin is a young contemporary artist who graduated from the School of Fine Arts in Nantes. Exploring the fine line between the worlds of performance, theater and spectacle, he stages his own life by integrating numerous fictional elements linked to pop culture. Through an extravagant character with multiple identities, the artist addresses various themes associated with gender, sexuality and popular cultures, while integrating a note of humor.

In 2016, as part of the opening of the exhibition All tomorrow parties by Felix Thomas, Paul Garcin produced for the first time the mysterious performance Dancing on my own in which he danced for two hours to a playlist that he was the only one to hear. Headphones on his ears and a night mask on his eyes, the young artist begins a risky choreography among the spectators and imposes constraints on himself, testing his spatial references. In this way, he adopts a vulnerable position and solicits the physical interaction between his body and that of the visitor.

Several paradoxes arise. The conditions adopted by the performer imprison him in an internal world where he no longer really communicates with what surrounds him. This refusal to correspond with the other contradicts the exuberance of his gestures. The audience then becomes necessary: it helps to blur the boundary between the personal and the public. By his own presence, the artist instantly transforms the space where he chooses to perform this performance into a show stage. His excessive movements, straight out of a video clip, accentuate the theatrical side of his universe.

This work is a claimed homage to the Cuban artist Feliz Gonzalez-Torres and his work Untitled (Gogo dancing Platform) created in 1991. This installation is composed of a wooden platform lit by light bulbs. Presented in the gallery, it was designed with the idea of hosting occasional performances by gogo dancers. The latter are connected to a mobile phone by earphones and sway to electronic music. With this work, the artist questions our view of objects, others and what is shown within the gallery space. It also contains very strong questions concerning the gay community.

Paul Garcin chooses to borrow this process and divert it in order to put the issues of Gonzalez-Torres' work back in the spotlight. In this way, he also studies the different ways in which these questions have structured his intimate universe. The tragicomic dimension of his performance Dancing on my own highlights an important form of his approach: that of parody.

As part of the opening night of the Pride'N'Art festival in 2018, the young artist is preparing a new playlist and presenting the performance for the second time. Displaying the inscription "NAP QUEEN" on his night mask, this one reinforces the wacky side of his intervention and continues to divert the elements that make up our daily lives in order to exaggerate their features. Criticism through parody is a component that is particularly found in the LGBTQ artistic universe, whether it is music or contemporary art.


Celine Enanga.

Céline Enanga
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