Paris’s Galerie Magda Danysz is hosting a solo show by French conceptual artist P. Nicolas Ledoux. Through collaborations with other artists and reinventions of established art, Ledoux self-reflexively criticizes and examines the art world as it currently stands. The multifaceted print artist offers Wonderland a glimpse of the artistic process behind his latest exhibit.
What are your influences and inspirations?
My work feeds off influences and references in art history. I rewrite the histories of art — observing, analyzing, criticizing the art system and its marketing or financialization, for example. The world of art is, to me, a model of an ultra-liberal society. It is my main influence, with the well-known artists’ work—dead or alive—that I appropriate, recycle, and recontextualize.
With your art in general, what do you try to examine?
The recovery and neutralisation of what is essential to art: the subversive function.
There are a lot of mediums utilised in the show. What are they, and what do they examine?
I am a conceptual artist who uses fairly traditional techniques. I’m looking for the paradox. I do not want to lock myself in a single technique. I work with print—whether digital or manual, or both at once. My paintings are by artists who are much better than me. For this exhibition, my friend Gaël Davrinche’s work is used.
You worked with Damien Béguet, Pierre Beloüin and Gaël Davrinche for the show. How did you all collaborate on this exhibition?
It is important for me as an artist to challenge myself and compare my work to other artists’. The best way to accomplish this is to work with many hands. It is also stronger—a bit like a rock band: solo albums, collaborations, live shows. According to the interests and peculiarities of each person, we think about our desires and our questions.
How did you use the minimal gallery space for your show?
I work within the context of each individual show very extensively, such as the place (its image and architecture). A gallery exhibition is also an exercise in style—different institutional spaces of art and projects infiltrate the city. So, I play with the codes of the gallery and propose classic pieces—installations that I present in the form of prints.
In some of your prints, the accompanying text says, “Art as idea as idea.” What does the phrase mean to you?
“Art as idea as idea” is a reference to a series of works by Joseph Kosuth and, by extension, a definition of conceptual art. To this, I add “As money as money”—expressing the reality of a radical movement in the 60s that valued the idea of the subject and which now has been overtaken by the art market.
What do you hope to do next with your art?
I hope to continue to show in good conditions, make my art more relevant and sharp, and avoid becoming seduced by the illusion of success. I want to meet with curators and museum directors with whom I could construct interesting projects and provoke. I would also like to get to know more about a project that is close to my heart: a library of contemporary art on the iPad, in which I participate, Art Book magazine.