Arthur Cordier

Arthur Cordier AC.2023.16 - Diptyccoocorico from the pond, 2023. Photo: Nieck Bakker.

Arthur Cordier (1993) initially worked for an advertising agency. As an artist he is now using the hidden strategies and ideas behind the world of advertising to comment on this same industry. He is driven by the ways in which advertising and communication are infiltrating our urban, public, and digital spaces. This often involves messages that are nearly invisible, but do affect our consumer behaviour and ultimately encourage unbridled growth and deterioration. In his conceptual installations, paintings, and videos, Cordier is questioning these practices.

Cordier’s exhibition Kunst_Planten (2021) was, for instance, based on a study that showed that plants in offices increased staff efficiency by 15%. He borrowed plants from various advertising agencies to put in his own exhibition space. The underlying idea was not just to increase creativity in this location, but even more to decrease the efficiency of the advertising agencies by 15%.

For the paintings shown at Prospects, Cordier used large pieces of discarded lorry tarpaulins on which worn-down advertising messages are still vaguely discernible. With plant-shaped stickers he is both referring to the idea behind Kunst_Planten and to the materials regularly used in advertising. Cordier: “I am very much interested in oil, tar, and plastics as personifications of our geological age. My paintings ultimately reflect on advertising, merchandise, and motorway views — the contemporary landscapes we live in. These works are simultaneously hiding and showing themselves, similar to how light emerges from the darkness. Glimpses of reflections, shadows, and flashes.”

Text: Esther Darley

Translation from Dutch to English: Marie Louise Schoondergang