Sophie Graniou

“With Sophie Graniou, we enter a dimension of the History and the way it is treated. She stages a crazy “museophobic” space dedicated to the preservation of the Pop culture. Lived by the ghosts of Angus Young and J-G Ballard. Everything is artificial, from sanguilent gusts of car’s motors, to the beer bottles decomposing, to the wigs which stir mechanically to feign a furious Break Neck Dance.

In this universe of post-apocalyptic science fiction what remains of Pop Culture is a stuffed memory of false relics, accessories of a horror B-movie, reliefs of a wild party in which boxer shorts are thrown, with a hatchet.

A heritage which we shall remember as the Second Punic War in a near future which Sophie Graniou anticipates brilliantly.”

(Dominique Abensour, “La promotion 2010 de la Villa Arson et ses lauréats : 23 heures chrono !” )

Sophie Graniou’s work is articulated around a hybrid space which tries to activate a reflex of visiting. This is a very specific reflex, one not created by museums of art or galleries, but one engendered by other, more off-beat types of place, such as wax museums, caves or sites which house automatons : places which Umberto Eco qualifies as “fortresses of solitude” or “ cribs of Satan”.

What is interesting in these places, it is the oddity and the frightening strangeness which emerges from them. The strangeness can be due to the presence of life-size models or the combination of different scenes or “paintings” which create anacronisms or incongruity.
The hybrid space, a kind of laboratory of Pop culture dissection, is too alive to be a museum and too dead to be an amusement park. It does not satisfy either the spectator’s kitsh aspiration, nor his/her thirst for horror.