The gallery Cécile Fakhoury-Abidjan presents VIRGINIA RYAN: ESPACE À LOUER- Exhibition under construction. L’espace à louer’ is an available space, of which we can take possession, in which we can move around, in where stories can be read and written.
While discovering those tall-sized works floating in the space of the gallery, your look might get a little bit lost, but suddenly when you move forward, you will recognize famous characters, images already seen somewhere and cinema icons. Those art works are not ordinary paintings; their medium and subject are films posters from the 60s to the 90s, coming from a movie theater once established in Grand-Bassam.
The technique of Virginia Ryan – collage on cardboard, acrylic painting in the background and on the collage, poured ink, ripped faces, hidden texts – leads us to a different field of reality made of reinvented stories. Virginia Ryan uses transparency to unveil some unknown layers, like some stories that would come over other stories. Never Ending Story is a series where fiction takes over the original, in order to surprise us.
Some lines are drawn like waves on the wall, surrounding the central installation, with dozens of painted pictures that immerse us into the everyday life in Abidjan, depicting anonymous icons in 4:3 size who rent their faces to famous brands, to distributors and dream-sellers.
With the Selling dreams series, Virginia Ryan tells us another story coming from her collection of advertising hoardings, immortalized in her photographs, and then softly reinterpreted with her painting brush. The visual effect, oscillating between hyperrealism and photography, creates a subtle distance. By taking a critical but delicate look on a growing phenomenon, she interrogates our notions of identity but also notions of memory, the memory that last but also the memory that we are building right now. This is the modern story of our desires, the illustrated fantasies of a generation whose codes are now confronted to the reality of the streets of Abidjan.
To preserve, to save, gathering traces and pieces of history in order to give them a new life, in another version. With all this universal material, which is transcultural, made of mixed material and carried by a careful attention and a strict plastic construction, Virginia Ryan brings out the images of the globalized culture of our era. It’s up to us, the visitor, to let ourselves being carried along our era, or not.