It is so much better when a language separates the words: history and story…’, thinks Gaëlle Cognée while she plans her next visual performance in Tirana. She rationally prefers a linguistic separation of the two meanings so to be able to explain to the rest of us her own way of mixing them up, subtly, leading us to the misunderstand of both. What is left to the spectator of Cognée’s work, whether it is a film, an installation or a performance, is a long lasting mystery for not being able to distinguish ourselves and our archive as we are immersed in a fog of non linear sequences made of her precise and eloquently made images, perceptions and narratives.

For COD Artist Talks Gaëlle Cognée will tell us a true history, unravelling soft obstacles and intricate maps of happenings and relationships… It started somewhere in Tirana in 2015, ad it ends where it started after 364 days later.


Digital Room

– A Concrete Hotel (2015)

Video archive from a lecture given at COD in December 2015, 26’

Transposing the lecture Hotel Palenque, given by the American artist Robert Smithson in 1972, to the context of Tirana, the narrative speech and projected images gradually shape a mysterious space. It is a place which you might have already heard about, a place inclined to lose its focus, a place like an architecture of thoughts, overwhelmed with waiting.

Forum Room

Blind Alleys as Ocular Ex Voto (2016)

HD Video, 15’

In the impassive labyrinth of a historical museum, which seems to have lost its chronology, paranoia is growing out of an unsurpassable contradiction: a moving present has to keep frozen a past that would rather escape. A turtle, like a prehistorical silence, almost takes on the role of a museum object, dismantling both the historical and filmic narrative.


Gaëlle Cognée (France,1988) graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, then at Emily Carr University of Arts in Vancouver and finally graduated from Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Arts Paris-Cergy in 2013. During her studies she initiated the collective project Plafond which aimed to exhibit outside of the common white cube in a site-specific approach. Plafond is now composed of six artists and had exhibited in an old factory in Botz-en-Mauges (Plafond I and II), in the artist-run space Der Kanal in Berlin (Muskel) and in different highschools in Paris, Dornes and Decize (Les Méprises and Paysage pour un pickpocket).

During this past year, Gaëlle Cognée spent four months in Tirana and one month in Tangier as part of collaborative residency projects. She will be exhibiting her work at the artist-run space Pauline Perplexe (Arcueil, France) in March 2017.