Léa Porré’s fascination with transcending the same old ways of interpreting history finds expression in her 3D works and installations. Today, the London-based Belgian artist presents two of her recent projects, Arcana Arcorum and The Beginning of All Moist Things which, in her style, “experiment with 3D world-building as a tool to heal from our past, and future-forecast.”

Arcana Arcorum 

In Arcana Arcorum, Léa Porré deploys a digital iteration of the Southway Pavilion, a hallucinated and phantasmagorical vision of Southway Studio’s domestic project. A temporal portal, leading to a dislocated, uchronic and vaporous dimension, is embodied through the projection, conceived as a video game cinematic. The immersive ensemble (summoning wallpapers and pseudo-baroque artefacts) draws the viewer into an imaginary world of shifting potentialities. 

This landscape of sand and wandering ruins, which seem to float and move outside of any Euclidean geometry, constitutes an ethereal view not only of the pavilion, but also of all of Southway Studio’s artistic incarnations. The presence of doors, windows and hourglasses reminds us of the non-linearity of time and the profoundly fictional nature of the works, notably those of Bella Hunt & Ddc, that punctuate and haunt the path created by Léa Porré. 

Uchronic and phantasmagorical, these visions, both solar and disquieting, are reminiscent of architectural reveries, from the Ideal City of Urbino to the ghostly arcades of De Chirico, via the dungeons of Piranesi. A fin-de-siècle spirit inhabits these strange compositions: one finds in them a search not for historicity but for the unrealised possibilities of things that have disappeared or been dreamt of. This landscape is fundamentally eclectic and builds on codes and motifs to create a hybrid universe, close in its thinking to the revivals of the 19th century or the Egyptomania of the Empire or the 1920s.

Indeed, it is not so much the elusive photograph of an already distant moment that Léa Porré projects on the walls of the Southway Pavilion, through her video or her installation, but rather dimensional cracks that open onto the infinite offered by an imagination nourished by references and memories, which would constitute a palace of memory.

As in a procedural video game, this shifting landscape mixes repetitions and variations, giving both an impression of déjà vu and the astonishment of discovering new assemblages. 

Arcana Arcorum, from glowing monoliths to sandy ruins, if haunted by vestiges and memories, remains untouched by any human presence, like a space outside the physical world, demiurgic as the Manichaeans would say. It lives only through the imaginary, constituting a vast archive of possibilities that have not happened.

Arcana Arcorum was displayed at Pavillon Southway, Marseille, France

‘Tis the beginning of all moist things’

Virginia Bianchi Gallery is pleased to take part in ArtVerona fair for the second consecutive year with a booth hosting works by artist Léa Porré and the duo Xenoangel (Marija Avramović and Sam Twidale). Through digital world (re)building and imaginary, speculative narrations, the exhibit wants to suggest a different, simultaneous perception of time, where the past and the present are taken as a starting point for the reimagining of our collective future.

In dialogue with Xenoangel, VBG hosts Léa Porré’s new series of works from her latest 3D World Build. In her artistic practice, Léa Porré (1996, Paris) delves into the realm of digital art as a way to reimagine and redefine history, particularly looking at the Long Middle Ages of her native country, France. Her production involves a critical re-reading of history through the lens of mythology, deeply rooted in her cyclical vision of time. Subverting conventional narratives that define historically iconic events and personalities, Porré composes alternative realities through a mystical, almost spiritual approach that causes a disruption of events as widely accepted. While distancing her practice from traditional historical research, she employs a transhistorical approach to connect events of the past and possible futures to worldwide mythological structures, creating a fluid, cyclical relation between what has been and what will be.

In Tis the beginning of all moist things, Porré weaves in different time dimensions through the symbolical presence of moss. A kind of botanical forgetting, the plant is time made visible, an evergreen blanket that covers the Earth and, with it, its past rituals and beliefs. Conversing with the distinctive iconographic and architectural elements that often recur in her works and world builds, moss becomes a colonising entity in a reality made of past and future remembrances. An ever-present entity in re-enchanting visions of desolate, speculative realities evoking civilisational collapse, concerns of ecocide and human extinction.

‘Tis the beginning of all moist things’, was shown at Virginia Bianchi Gallery, Art Verona Fair 2022

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Léa Porré is a French and Belgian artist, born in 1996 and living in London. She graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2021, and from Central Saint Martins in 2018.

In her research-based practice, she excavates her ancestral memories, by interweaving micro-history and mythological motifs. With a focus on historical and sacred sites as memory palaces, she experiments with 3D world-building as a tool to heal from our past, and future-forecast.

She has exhibited her work internationally, most recently at the Centre Pompidou and Brownstone Foundation in Paris and MAMO Modulor in Marseille, France, Paradise Row Projects, Tate Modern, and LUX in London, UK.

She took part in Akademie Schloss Solitude and ZKM Karlsruhe web residency, ‘Ghosted’, shortlisted for the 2020 Hash Award.


Artwork / Léa Porré

Arcana Arcorum text / Emmanuelle Luciani + Elie Chich

Arcana Arcorum show images / Emile Barret

Tis the beginning of all moist things text / Virginia Bianchi

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