Nicolas Grenier’s work explores the built environment’s embodiment of both systems of social interactions and power relations. Promised Land Template features a pavilion-like structure, halfway between a bunker and a mausoleum, which houses paintings whose acidulous palette and late-modernist style depict schematics of dehumanized, rationalist approaches to topical societal issues. These paintings’ streamlined organization of pictorial space, closely related to graphic design, coolly confronts the viewer with a technocratic take on displacement and immigration. In this way, the work imparts new meanings to the language typically used in these contexts, pointing to the unstable relationship between language and form. This use of language hovers between a direct referent of the depicted subject and the image evoked by the written words. As the artist has stated: “How might the subtle aggressivity of a bright orange glaze over a cold pink relate to the shift of meaning between two words such as ‘integration’ and ‘assimilation’?”
Explicitly referencing the impact of Latin American immigration on the United States, Promised Land Template also questions how future population movements are to be envisaged globally.