Valentin Carron

Valentin Carron
Photo 1: Valentin Carron, © Olivier Lovey, Musée de Bagnes | Photo 2: Valentin Carron, SaXophone, 2019, (detail) photo © Biennale Son | FI'NI Stud

SaXophone, 2019

Copper instrument, 84 x 60 x 70 cm. Iron base covered with enamel paint, 75 x 70 x 60 cm

In 2013, in the Swiss pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Valentin Carron hung a series of brass band instruments on the walls, or at least castings in an almost pink bronze(Teflon longways Wearily). These instruments were all dented and trampled, like the ones that decorated a café in the Valais region where a brass band used to meet, and which seemed to the artist an amusing survival of the new realism of the 60s. This SaXophone , which appeared six years later in the artist's career, has not been mistreated in any way. It simply sits on a pedestal.

Valentin Carron

Born in 1977 in Fully

Lives and works in Fully

A graduate of the École d'art du Valais (now EDHEA) and the ECAL, Valentin Carron is known for his strategies of reappropriation. He works with existing objects, whether they are already considered works of art, or others that belong more to craft or even industry.

These objects are copied, changed in scale, color and material. Valentin Carron creates them in resins, polystyrene and plaster, in a form of lightening that is as symbolic as it is real, and sometimes returns them to more noble materials, such as bronze. What they have in common is that they belong to our environment, whether they're skateboard ramps, public art sculptures, architectural details, mopeds or apple crates. Or a Christian cross, an obvious marker of Valais identity, already reproduced in fake cinderblocks for the federal scholarships in 2003, then, after initial international success, in immense form on the Messeplatz during Art Basel in 2009.

Valentin Carron repeats the object identically, in a form of trompe-l'œil, or makes it evolve, like the double-headed wrought-iron snake he noticed undulating as a window grille in a Zurich building, and which he deployed throughout the Swiss pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2013. He thus draws attention to objects that have become commonplace, seeming to blend into the landscape, and questions their status, between reality and facticity, authenticity and the fabrication of a vernacular culture.

In 2020, his exhibition at Dijon's Consortium, Zéro Virgule Nul, was akin to a retrospective. In the same year, he presents Un ami simple sur le barrage de Mauvoisin, a project based on collages made during the first confinement. He took a silhouette of a mule and reproduced it in different sizes and colors. In his most recent gallery exhibitions, Valentin Carron's sculptural and painterly work moves away from forms of appropriation, while continuing a form of dialogue with Valais vernacular culture.

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