The Transformation of Matter Creates Light is Kévin Bray’s most comprehensive immersive project to date. The exhibition, which opens at Trauma Bar and Cinema on 17 September 2022, will feature the interdisciplinary artist and filmmaker’s latest work: an automated choreography of moving screens that generate large light sculptures in Trauma Bar and Cinema’s main space. With the installation, shown for the first time, Bray invites visitors to experience the visual mapping and exploration of technology-based transformations of the human being. To do this, he uses a technique developed during his research residency in AlUla, Saudi Arabia, which assembles the light sculptures from layers.
Image. above: Kévin Bray,Performance at Petrolux Iso Amsterdam, 2022 © courtesy of the artist
Bray’s works and installations are characterised by a multimedia approach, in particular by the technique of “projection mapping”, in which a projector is used to illuminate surfaces of any structure in an adapted way and in which the video projections are superimposed on our physical reality like a second skin and interact with it.
In a universe that produces ever more complex structures, from atoms and molecules to planets and living beings, Kévin Bray’s exhibition highlights and celebrates the urge to change and transform ourselves to adapt to our internal and external environment. Alongside this installation is a site-specific mapping that guides the viewer through bright, changing landscapes, and his video Morpher, which serves as the backbone and living archive of his artistic practice – all with the same goal: to create light.
There was less light in the universe last week than today, and there will be more light in the universe next week than today. (There was less light in the universe last week than today, and there will be more light in the universe next week than today) Kévin Bray
A system of video cross-sections creates bodies of light that only become visible through the gaze of a long-term exposure and provides an overview of various devices and objects, such as implants, piercings, medicines, telephones or computers, that are used in the individual and collective transformation of humans. In this way, Bray makes the visitor aware of the complexity of our ever-expanding bodies and the potential dangers of such modifications. By blurring the boundaries between research and fiction, science and myth through his monumental light objects, he also merges the organic nature of the human body with the process of bioengineering. Through his installation, Bray exposes the transformations that have been modifying our bodies and our abilities for millennia to align with our changing thoughts and identities. From natural remedies used for medical purposes to genome editing (a molecular biology procedure used to selectively induce mutations in very specific sections of DNA), from plastic surgery to pacemakers, from in vitro fertilisation to burial, through these different levels Bray makes clear that human identity is a constantly evolving material.
Kévin Bray (Corbie, FR 1989) is an interdisciplinary French artist currently based in Amsterdam. After training as a graphic designer, earning two master’s degrees in France and the Netherlands, he was artist in residence at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam from 2018 to 2019. There he was able to develop his practice as a freelance visual artist in the field of contemporary art develop.
Working across disciplinary boundaries, Bray explores how the form and language of past and present technologies have influenced and changed the way we see the world. By misappropriating certain software and media, he critically examines our relationship to these tools and the role they play in human history. His experiments with the way they are visualised and the manipulation of the way they function encourage us to reflect on the different levels of meaning and the historical contexts of the images. His images are the result of a hybrid way of working with different techniques, motifs and visual codes. This approach allows him to play with, expand and combine different new and old technologies and tools, and to develop his own artistic language.
Influenced by his background as a graphic designer and fascinated by the history of painting, the themes of composition and communication are ever-present in Bray’s work.
Through an in-depth exploration of a variety of communication media – from video, painting and animation to sculpture, music and writing – Bray studies their multiple functions. His need to combine these two means of design results in an unexpected combination of techniques from the physical and digital worlds. In this way, he succeeds in generating new, captivating realities and perspectives that reflect the evolution of our stories. Bray devotes much of his work to painting and to the ongoing development of his video work Morpher. This leads the viewer through bright, changing landscapes and forms the backbone and living archive of his artistic work. Like an organism, Morpher evolves continuously, and the many figures that appear in Bray’s paintings become props in an expanded reality in which they can be activated in different ways. In interaction with the background and the stage, his otherworldly images always move between transparency and concealment.
Kévin Bray has had numerous solo exhibitions including: Wills, Wheels, Wells, Future Gallery, Berlin, 2021; Breakdown After Before, Dordrecht Museum, Netherlands, 2021; Don’t forgive/get, them, Stigter Van Doesberg, Amsterdam, 2020; and Morpher III, Foam Amsterdam, 2020. His work has also been featured in group exhibitions including: L’anima Navigue, Future, Ancien, Fugitif, Palais De Tokyo, Paris, 2019 and RijksOpen, Amsterdam, 2018.
Opening: 17 September 2022, 8:00 pm – 03:00 am
Doors open: 20:00
Opening hours: every Friday from 5 – 9 pm (admission free).
The exhibition can also be visited during the accompanying events that will take place in the context of the exhibition on 24 September and 1 October.
Trauma Bar und Kino