Valentin Carron was born in 1977 in Martigny, Switzerland. He began his artistic training at the age of fifteen, first at the École cantonale d’art du Valais and then at the École cantonale d’art de Lausanne. He lives and works between Martigny and Geneva.
Whether Valentin Carron summons archetypes attached to folk, artistic or religious iconography, he does so with irony and distance, but also in a critical spirit. Closer to the pastiche than to the celebration, his sculptures put in evidence the cogs of the symbolic mechanism which animates the human productions.
Originally from the Valais, Carron reappropriates, copies and diverts objects from Valais culture, often considered as the embodiment of a Swiss identity. He imagines replicas in synthetic materials, such as polyester or fiberglass, which imitate wood, concrete or bronze. In this way, Carron plays with the notion of authenticity and questions the weight of tradition and the values attached to certain cultural creations. Thus, by multiplying and displacing crosses such as one finds in Valais at the top of the calvaries, he crosses the myth of a Switzerland of chalets and mountains with a stripped aesthetic, renewing the appropriationist strategies of American artists of the 1970s.
More recently, the artist has taken an interest in the field of art by appropriating, in an almost parodic manner, paintings by Fernand Léger or sculptures by Alberto Giacometti. This work of reinterpretation makes it possible to neutralize the position of authority of the work of art and suggests the idea of an art which would take part of a popular culture.
Valentin Carron represented Switzerland at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. His work has been featured at numerous institutions worldwide, including the Palais de Tokyo (Paris, France), Kunsthalle Bern (Switzerland), Kunsthalle Zürich (Switzerland), MAMCO (Geneva, Switzerland), Swiss Institute New York (USA), Le Consortium (Dijon, France), Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rennes (France), Overbeck Gesellschaft (Lübeck, Germany) and Fondation Louis Moret, (Martigny, Switzerland). Group shows featuring his work include those at the Centre Pompidou-Metz (Metz, France) and the High Line (New York, USA). His work is in the permanent collections of institutions including Aargauer Kunsthaus (Aarau, Switzerland), Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson (New York, USA) and Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst (Zürich, Switzerland).
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