Solid Objects will divide Chisenhale Gallery's concrete space as a way to set Swiss artists Valentin Carron and Mai-Thu Perret’s recent sculptural works against each other, creating a dialogue to investigate areas that shift between intimacy and opposition.
Mai-Thu Perret will present part of her series of sculptures entitled The Crystal Frontier. A series that comprises text 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. She investigates our relationships to common objects found in contemporary art, design spaces and shops, such as Ikea or Habitat – whose revolutionary origins and aspirations have often been forgotten, as it becomes incorporated into capitalism’s mainstream.
In contrast, Valentin Carron investigates the anti-revolutionary imagery of the vernacular – a nationalist aesthetic developed at the end of the nineteenth century – which looked to the past rather than the increasingly industrial future, and whose style and form still influences modernism and contemporary life. He often reproduces historically and politically ambiguous objects and monuments. This practice does not erase the intention of the original, but underlines its complex symbolism and questions the construction of tradition and identity in our era of globalisation.
Mai-Thu Perret was born in 1976 in Geneva, and lives and works between Geneva and Berlin. She studied at Cambridge University and the Whitney Independent Study Program, New York.
Valentin Carron was born in 1977 in Martigny, and lives and works in Fully, Valais, Switzerland. He studied at the Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne (Ecal).
Solid Objects at Chisenhale Gallery follows an earlier version organised by Centre d’Art Contemporain Genèveand curated by Fabrice Stroun in 2005
The exhibition has been supported by The Henry Moore Foundation, Pro Helvetia, Arts Council England and Air Design.