Valentin Carron explores the principle of reality through acts of appropriation, replicating almost identically elements from popular culture, the practice of monument-making, daily life and his immediate environment. The shift in meaning is probably due more to the choice of referents than to their mere displacement in the field of art. Carron conceals the function, blunts the decorative aspect and revisits the craftsmanship-like manufacturing of these objects that oscillate between irony, affection and fascination and seem to densify as entering in contact with art, endorsing themselves with a common acknowledgement and with the nostalgia of a forgotten story.
Valentin Carron will present for his exhibition at the CEC, amongst other things, two productions exclusively made for the CEC: a film, L’Exercice, and the edition of a print Sunset Punta Cana accompanied by a sculpture, Deux épaisseurs un coin, that is part of a series of bronze plates began by the artist this year. The film, the print and the bronze form a coherent group where each object exists as a unique example or as a variation. These works seem to find, through their manufacturing, a relationship with the idea of absence, and through their subject a connection with the idea of loss. Carron does not really tell stories, but rather keeps residues of micro-events, unconscious gestures, and coincidences. The unfolding of the film, the replica of a cover of a book and the bronze plates, seen as pages, suggest a form of writing, an excerpt of an account. The print Sunset Punta Cana reproduces an embossed pattern; those of the bronze plates are rather cut out and hollow. In the film L’Exercice, a succession of footsteps displays a slow and endless walk. Each footprint, reduced to a sign, is detached in black on the illuminated surface of the projection, thus constituting a succession of endless black holes without a background, like reiterated metaphors of the void, of a downfall. The subjects reinforce this sensation of loss: the sunset on Punta Cana, a false yet real paradise lost, misplaced objects, refuse – a cigarette butt, a banana skin, a shoelace, a comb – all cast into the bronze. This focus on these details so real and insignificant at the same time, points out the implicit and parallel forgotten moments of ordinary banality and of infinite sadness. These small things cast in bronze and laid on a pedestal, kept as relics, add an almost sacred dimension to these fallen, abandoned and lost objects, symbols of our defeat, of our finiteness. Deux épaisseurs forment un coin, l’autre coin reste en manque.
Valentin Carron, Sunset Punta Cana, edition of a print, inkjet, colours, on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308 g/m2 paper, 105,4 × 80,3 cm, an edition of 12 copies, 1 H.C. and 2 A.P., framed, numbered, dated and signed on the back. Printed by Nicolas Pirolet, Bex. Edition of the Centre d’édition contemporaine, Geneva, 2016.