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Indepth Arts News:

"Solid Objects, Recent Sculptural Work by Valentin Carron and Mai-Thu Perret"
2006-03-29 until 2006-05-14
Chisenhale Gallery
London, , UK United Kingdom

Chisenhale Gallery is pleased to present Solid Objects, recent sculptural work by Valentin Carron and Mai-Thu Perret. Both artists are based in Switzerland where their practice has often intersected. In Solid Objects each artist sets recent sculptural works against the work of the other creating a valuable dialogue, long present between them, as they investigate areas that shift bet! ween being close and opposed. Solid Objects at Chisenhale Gallery follows an earlier version organised by Centre d'Art Contemporain Genève and curated by Fabrice Stroun in 2005. The exhibition has been supported by: The Henry Moore Foundation, Pro Helvetia, Arts Council England and Air Design   

For the exhibition Mai-Thu Perret will present part of her series of sculptures entitled The Crystal Frontier. The series comprises text ˆ extracts from personal diaries, letters, timetables and public event announcements ˆ and objects, which she describes as either the hypothetical production of a group of women living in autarchy in the desert of New Mexico, or the materialisation of the principles that shape their everyday life.

Perret takes inspiration from accounts of the many utopian communities who lived in the North American desert in the last century, and confronts them with urban models of domestic emancipation - historical avant-gardes such as the Bauhaus, Post-War Californian interior design and their contemporary DIY manifestations. Contrary to offering an explanation, these references intermingle and contaminate each other until they lose specificity within her work. She investigates our r! elationship to common objects - found in contemporary art, design spac es and shops, such as Ikea or Habitat - whose revolutionary origins and aspirations are often forgotten, engaging with the consequences and changing realities of utopian thinking as it becomes incorporated into capitalism's mainstream.

In contrast, the work of Valentin Carron investigates the anti-revolutionary imagery of the vernacular - a nationalist aesthetic developed at the end of the nineteenth century - that looked to the past rather than the increasingly industrial future, but whose style and form still influences modernism and contemporary life.

An important part of Carron's practice is reproducing, often at a one-to-one scale, objects or monuments that are historically and politically ambiguous. For Solid Objects, among other sculptures, Carron will show his reproduction of a trophy cannon from Louis XVI‚s reign, when their production was first centralised and standardised. Carron's work does not erase the patriarchal and c! onservative intention of the original but, as in the case of trophy, underlines its complex symbolism, banality and everyday brutality to question the construction of tradition and identity in our era of globalisation.

Mai-Thu Perret was born in 1976 in Geneva. She lives and works between Geneva and Berlin. She studied at Cambridge University and the Whitney Independent Study Program, New York. Solo shows include: Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin; Statements, Art Basel; Centre d'édition contemporaine, Genève; The Modern Institute, Glasgow; Glassbox, Paris. She will have a solo show at The Rennaisance Society, Chicago, later this year.

Valentin Carron was born in 1977 in Martigny. He lives and works in Fully, Valais, Switzerland. He studied at the Ecole cantonale d‚art de Lausanne (Ecal). Solo shows include: Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; Statements, Art Basel; Alimentation Générale, Luxembourg; Cir! cuit, Lausanne; Fri-Art, Fribourg; Glassbox, Paris.

Mai-Thu with Ligia Dias: Perren Heroin of the People (Revoltionary) (2005) and Valentine Carron: Le Nasillard (Canon) (2005)

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