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MTO and IEMZA Open “Doors of Perception” in Abandoned Building

Posted on May 4, 2013

Installation Shows That It Is All In “Le Grand Jeu” (The Big Game)

Ask your average party-hearty college student how to open the doors of perception and they’ll give you a knowing look and point you to the nearest bong. We may think that the mind-expanding explorations of art students began with the hippies in the 1960s but this new work by Street Artist MTO and IEMZA points to an art movement four decades before that in France that specifically employed “mystical” drug use to broaden one’s creative experiences.

Pictured here are exclusive new images of the multi-panel installation the two artists just finished in an abandoned building in the Reims district of Muizon in France. Appropriate in its context, this is also the birthplace of an artistic movement in the late 1920s called Le Grand Jeu, which serves as an influence for the collaborative tribute.

Le Grand Jeu: “Doors of Perception”, by MTO and IEMZA (photo © MTO)

Formed by four students in the early 1920s and published as a formal academic review as the Roaring 20s came to an abrupt end, the young writers who formed Le Grand Jeu sought a freedom of spontaneous thought through an exploration returning to childhood and the free-associating intuitive discoveries and reveries therein. While their cogitations were perhaps more theoretical than your average university frat house may be in in the early Twenty-teens, they clearly favored “extra sensory research practices”.

Le Grand Jeu: “Doors of Perception”, by MTO and IEMZA (photo © MTO)

MTO and IEMZA used a number of surfaces (doors, panels, a wall) that they found in this storehouse to symbolize the sort of freedom sought and the initiation practices of Le Grand Jeu, which encouraged members to attempt to explore the dream world through the use of mystical texts and drug use. While these guys formed their artistic movement at the same time as the surrealists and had many similar practices that were meant to access the subconscious mind and it’s creative impulses, they considered themselves autonomous and did not relish having a political position.

The new photo-realistic depiction here engages the whole space, bringing in more than two dimensions, and features a reclined figure blissfully gazing into the haze. The model for the painting, Brice Martin-Graser, is also a graphic designer and he sponsored this urban exposition with the two artists.

Le Grand Jeu: “Doors of Perception”, by MTO and IEMZA (photo © MTO)

“Le Grand Jeu est irrémédiable ; il ne se joue qu’une fois.
Nous voulons le jouer à tous les instants de notre vie.”
— Roger Gilbert-Lecomte.

Le Grand Jeu: “Doors of Perception”, by MTO and IEMZA (photo © MTO)

Le Grand Jeu: “Doors of Perception”, by MTO and IEMZA (photo © MTO)

Le Grand Jeu: “Doors of Perception”, by MTO and IEMZA (photo © MTO)

Le Grand Jeu: “Doors of Perception”, by MTO and IEMZA (photo © MTO)

 To read more about Le Grand Jeu, surrealism and it’s discontents, click here.

Brice Martin-Graser’s BMG Lab : http://www.bricemg.com/lab
IEMZA’s FB page : https://www.facebook.com/IEMZA
MTO’s FB page : https://www.facebook.com/mto.page

 

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