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Valentin Carron

As-té-ro-ïde (after Ramseyer), 2014
polystyrene, fibreglass, acrylic resin, acrylic paint
237.0 x 162.0 x 99.0 cm
An aerial mass sculpted by the void, As-té-ro-ïde (after Ramseyer) would seem to have entered Earth’s atmosphere with a poetic gentleness. Its large-scale form is all curves and suggests both the outlines and the very structure of a mineral body. The piece’s sizeable volume, though resting on three feet, remains insubstantial and shot through with light.

Looking like a work cast in bronze, whose smooth surface offers the illusion of traditional art materials, As-té-ro-ïde is in fact made up of artificial materials in keeping with the artist’s practice. Embodying irony and the disconnect between what the artwork looks like and what it is physically made of, As-té-ro-ïde marks a return to Carron’s approach of endlessly questioning the notion of authenticity.

Curious to try his hand at a variety of domains, Carron produces an art of appropriation that involves the reinterpretation of elements drawn from his immediate environment, whether everyday objects, structures from vernacular architecture, or works of art in public spaces. It is indeed local pieces of sculpture that often catch Carron’s attention. As-té-ro-ïde, for example, reactualising a sculpture located in a park in Lausanne, borrows the same proportions and shape of a bronze by the Bernese artist André Ramseyer (Bern, 1914 – Neuchâtel, 2007).

Carron’s casting of Ramseyer’s 1957 piece adopts not only its look but also its name (Astéroïde). Only the material differs, along with the fragmentation of the title into its individual syllables. As part of the artist’s appropriationist strategy, this reactualisation shifts between tenderness for a somewhat forgotten piece of sculpture, a reflection on its presence and history, and the desire to undermine the innovative expectations of a certain contemporary art. It is also a reproduction that likewise raises the question of pieces of public sculpture that are sometimes set in the urban landscape so perfectly they gradually fade from view.
Valentin Carron, As-té-ro-ïde (after Ramseyer), 2014