La démocratie est Illusion is the title of the exhibition by the Italian artist duo Goldschmied & Chiari (formerly known as goldiechiari) at Centre d’art contemporain Brest – Passerelle. The show focuses on the similarities between the practices of illusionism and those of the intelligence service, both used in the representation of deception and to persuade and fascinate the viewer. Through various media such as collage, photography, installations, video, as well as ethereal materials like sand, smoke, scenic devices and mirrors, Goldschmied & Chiari construct an imaginary set in which the secret operations during the Cold War are staged through sleights of hand and materials used by the most famous illusionists in history, such as Harry Houdini, Jasper Maskerlyne and John Mulholland. The artists reflect upon the relationship between power and illusionism, military operations and use of magic tricks, drawing inspiration from actual historical events. Among the works on display are Hiding the elephant (2014), an installation made of 160 mirrored face portraits of presidents, politicians, poets and journalists mysteriously disappeared, hanging from the ceiling of the exhibition space; Boîtes magiques (2014), three chestnut magic boxes reproducing those commonly used by illusionists; and Medusa mirrors (2014), photographs of staged colored smoke printed on mirror surface.
La démocratie est illusion is part of PIANO, the Franco-Italian platform for artistic exchange initiated by d.c.a / Association française de développement des centres d’art supported by the Institut français, the French ministry of Culture and Communication, Institut français in Italy and Foundation Nuovi Mecenati.
La démocratie est Illusion by Goldschmied & Chiari
Centre d’art contemporain Brest – Passerelle
Through May 5