Time Traveler

Cyprien Gaillard at MoMA PS1.


French artist Cyprien Gaillard roams the globe in search of buildings erected to bygone ideologies—from Brutalist midcentury public housing projects in Europe to Mayan temples that often serve as backdrops for spring breakers. Beginning January 20 (through April 8) MoMA PS1 hosts Gaillard’s first solo museum exhibition in New York. The show centers on a film Gaillard shot on his cell phone in Iraq and Berlin “about anachronism and how ultramodern weaponry exists in ancient cities like Babylon or Ur,” he says. That work, Artefacts (2011), will be joined by other pieces, among them selections from an ongoing photographic series (left) called “Geographical Analogies (2006­–present)” in which the artist juxtaposes historically and geographically disparate locations (for example, New Jersey’s Passaic and Cambodia’s Angkor) that have become emblems of deterioration. “This work questions how we live with ruins today. I want to erase any hierarchies among them, because to me, all decay is subversive— and welcomed.”

Cyprien Gaillard, “Geographical Analogies” © Cyprien Gaillard/courtesy of Spruth Magers Berlin London