The Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève is proud to present Solid objects – Valentin Carron vs Mai-Thu Perret, an exhibition co-curated with Fabrice Stroun.
Valentin Carron and Mai-Thu Perret form part of a new artistic scene based in the French speaking part of Switzerland, drawing from a ‘post-pop’ tradition which proceeds to a critical appropriation of several cultural forms. Both artists refer to the vernacular and to design, questioning the relationship between aesthetics and ideology that can be observed in the objects of our daily environment.
Mai-Thu Perret conceives an important amount of her works as part of an overall narrative, revolving around a utopian community of women based in New Mexico. Entitled Crystal Frontier, this series initiated in 1999 brings together various works meant as the ‘potential production’ of those women, where each piece is referring to a certain aspect of their common activities. Pyramid of Love (2003), for example, consists of nine modular hutches, crafted in wood and shaped as a giant pyramid used to keep rabbits, while the series of small scale abstract and figurative sculptures entitled Pure Expression male/female (2003) have been ‘created’ by the community in a arts and crafts workshop situation.
Valentin Carron is interested in revisiting the vernacular iconography of Swiss culture, such as, for example, the recent appropriation of mountain culture within design chique (described by Wallpaper as ‘The New Mountain Culture’), and art world strategies such as the famous Bischofberger advertisements in Artforum depicting ‘primitive’ Switzerland. Objects of wine production (characteristic of the Valais region native to the artist), alpine parapharnelia and religious symbols are appropriated and reformulated by the artist to produce works with a humorous touch. However the comic aspect often extends to vitriolic critique of the oft-thought perception of Switzerland as a pure and perfect nation, steeped in eternal and traditional values.
This exhibition chooses to confront the works of both artists in a particularly dense scenography. No less than 17 sculptures are presented in the same space, that is 8 works by each artist, as well as a collaborative piece created for the occasion. The latter aspect of the project is of particular relevance. Based on the on-going discussions that the artists have had over the years, the project seeks to provide a platform from which the artists can investigate their proximities and differences within artistic practice.
Mai-Thu Perret, born in 1976 in Geneva. Lives and works between Geneva and Berlin. She studied at Cambridge University, UK, and the Whitney Independent Study Program, New York. She had solo exhibitions at Statements, Art Basel; Centre d’édition contemporaine, Genève; The Modern Institute, Glasgow and Glassbox, Paris.
Valentin Carron, born in 1976 in Martigny. Lives and works in Fully, Valais, Switzerland. He studied at the Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne (Ecal). He had solo exhibit at Statements, Art Basel; Alimentation Générale, Luxembourg ; Circuit, Lausanne; Fri-Art, Fribourg; Glassbox, Paris.
Curated by Fabrice Stroun