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Thierry Fournier

I explore confrontations with other entities, between humans and with our environment.

Thierry Fournier is a visual artist and curator living in Paris area. His work unfolds at the frontiers of the living and deals mainly with questions of otherness. He is exhibiting the installation Ungrave (2020) as part of CHRONIQUES, the Biennale of Digital Imagination.

Updated on 17/12/2020

5 min

An architect by training (graduate of the National School of Architecture in Lyon), but also a musician and composer, Thierry Fournier first followed a musical course at the IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique) and then developed his own artistic practice from 2000 onwards. The work he has been developing since then is protean: installations, objects, prints, networked installations, videos, performances. From the outset, he has also worked as a curator.

He is also a teacher. He directs the contemporary art workshop The Exercice of the Gaze at Sciences Po Paris since 2015. He was guest artist-professor at Le Fresnoy, National Studio of Contemporary Arts in 2017-2018. From 2015 to 2019, he created and co-directed the PhD research group Displays at EnsadLab (École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, Paris) and the public art collection Collection Artem at Ensad Nancy. He is also artistic director of the antiAtlas Journal.

Thierry Fournier is interested in otherness, in the limits of the human being and in our relations with the rest of the living world. His work always starts from the human being and his perception. 

Some of his pieces are endowed with behaviours, using programming such as the installation The Probe (Art in the Chapels, 2020) where a talking robotic entity explores the space around it and tries in vain to understand what surrounds it. In Just in Case (2016), a face-high screen asks itself whether the person observing it is human ("Just checking that you are human"). It calculates at length and thanks after checking... and then starts again and again.

This tension between human being and non-human, living and non-living is also found in the installation Ungrave (2020) presented at CHRONIQUES. A large screen placed on the floor diffuses the image of a tombstone whose inscriptions are constantly being rewritten, as if it had remained alive. The project ironically evokes the transhumanist ideology of an unlimited rewriting of life, where everything would always be possible and therefore nothing would ever stop, even after death.

His works are regularly exhibited in France, recently at the Paul Valéry University in Montpellier, at Art in Chapels in Pontivy, at the Museum of Art and History of Sant-Denis, and internationally: many times in Japan (recently in 2019 at the invitation of the French Institute of Tokyo), in Canada, in Korea, very often in Europe, etc. 

At the Saarlandisches Künstlerhaus in Saarbrücken in 2017, he exhibited Ecotone (2015), a networked installation showing an artificial landscape inhabited by synthetic voices reading in real time the messages posted on Twitter about desires. This multilingual work is the one most often exhibited internationally.

In fifteen years, he has also curated numerous exhibitions. In 2020, together with Pau Waelder, he won the curatorial call for projects of Mécènes du sud Montpellier-Sète, where he created the exhibition Selphish.

  • 1960

    1960

    Thierry Fournier is born in Oullins, in the Lyon region.

  • 2000

    2000

    He begins his career as a visual artist.

  • 2013

    2013

    He receives the special jury award for his work Last Room / Dépli (2012) at the Festival du nouveau cinéma de Montréal (New Cinema Festival).

  • 2018

    2018

    Artist and professor Thierry Fournier is invited to Fresnoy, Studio national des arts contemporains.

  • 2020

    2020

    With Pau Waelder, he is awarded the call for curatorial projects at the Mécènes du Sud Montpellier-Sète for the project Selphish.

The Institut français and the artist

With the installation Ungrave (2020), Thierry Fournier is programmed as part of Chroniques, the Biennale of Digital Imagination (taking place from 12 November 2020 to 17 January 2021). The Institut français is a partner of Chroniques with the Focus digital arts and creations. 

Find out more about the Focus digital arts and creations.

L'institut français, LAB