55. Biennale – Valentin Carron

Venezia - 31/05/2013 : 24/11/2013

Valentin Carron rappresenta la Svizzera alla Biennale di Venezia col progetto Salon Suisse.


Comunicato stampa

Valentin Carron has been nominated by the Swiss Arts Council Pro
Helvetia to represent Switzerland at the 55th International Art
Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia from 1 June to 24 November 2013 in
the Swiss Pavilion in the Giardini della Biennale. His exhibition is
complemented by an accompanying talks and events programme entitled
«Salon Suisse» at the Palazzo Trevisan degli Ulivi.

For Valentin Carron, sculpture is central to his work

The formal
vocabulary of his pieces is inspired by the imagery of the Canton of
Valais where he has spent almost all his life, borrowing and adapting
the internationally renowned vocabulary of the style of his alpine
home region and making it peculiarly his own. Through stylistic and
material tensions, his art casts doubt as to the authenticity of the
vernacular, whilst developing a highly personal artistic discourse.

For the Swiss Pavilion the artist has teamed up with Giovanni Carmine,
director of Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen. Carron’s exhibition is conceived
as a specific, autonomous whole, encompassing wall and floor-based
sculptural pieces, installation and readymade artwork. Greeting the
visitor at the door of the pavilion will be a wrought iron snake whose
form (over 80 metres long) winds through the architecture like a drawn
line. Carron's serpent is a two-headed beast that becomes a decorative
element in the modernist architecture of the Swiss Pavilion, designed
in 1952 by Bruno Giacometti. The intervention defines a path through
the pavilion, treating its architecture respectfully whilst also
querying the status of works of art and function of sculpture. The
gesture is typical of Carron's practice which fearlessly employs
archaic symbols, archetypal forms and references to art history.

Further works in the exhibition include ‹windows› – wall-based
artworks inspired by the public and religious architecture of the
1950s which recall modernist abstract paintings but are in fact made
out of fibre-glass; a collection of flattened musical instruments cast
in bronze, hung so as to punctuate the space; and a Piaggio Ciao
scooter transformed by its context into a pop ready-made. These
apparently nonsequitous elements create a disconcerting and ambivalent
effect in which nothing is quite what it seems and all is thrown into
question, amounting, in the words of the curator, Giovanni Carmine, to
«an elegant discussion on the complexity of defining sculpture».

«Salon Suisse»: platform for lively international exchange
This year the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia presents the first
«Salon Suisse» to take place as an official collateral event to the
55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. An
accompanying talks and event programme, the «Salon Suisse» was
initiated at last year's architectural biennale. It takes place at the
Palazzo Trevisan degli Ulivi in the heart of Venice’s old town,
offering a platform for exchange on contemporary art and thought in a
relaxed atmosphere. Inspired by the tradition of art and literary
salons in past centuries, «Salon Suisse» aims to encourage an
international dialogue among artists, specialists, scholars, students
and other interested visitors from all over the world. The «Salon
Suisse» 2013 is curated by Berne-based art historian Jörg Scheller who
put together a challenging programme of events focusing on the legacy
of Enlightenment in the globalized art world and looking at the
history of the Biennale. Five series of events will take place over
the entire duration of the biennale with leading academics and arts
practitioners. All events are free of admission and open to everyone.
Partner of «Salon Suisse» is Laufen Bathrooms AG.
For further information please visit: www.biennials.ch

Press Information
International: Rhiannon Pickles PR
Caroline Widmer | Rhiannon Pickles PR | M +44 (0) 790 884 8075 |
[email protected]
For high-res press images and to download the press release please
visit: http://www.biennials.ch/home/Press.aspx

Notes to editors

The artist, Valentin Carron
Valentin Carron (b. 1977 in Martigny, Switzerland) is one of the most
compelling Swiss artists of his generation. He has had recent solo
exhibitions at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France, 2010; La Conservera,
Murcia, Spain, 2009; Kunsthalle Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland, 2007 and
at the Swiss Institute, New York, USA, 2006. A solo exhibition at
Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland, is planned for 2014.

The curator, Giovanni Carmine
The curator of Valentin Carron’s exhibition at the Swiss Pavilion is
Giovanni Carmine (b. 1975 in Bellinzona, Switzerland), who has been
director of Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen since 2007. Before joining the
Kunst Halle, he worked as an independent curator and art critic and in
2011 he was artistic coordinator of ILLUMInations, the 54th edition of
the Biennale di Venezia, and co-editor of the Biennale catalogue.

The commissioner, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia
As from 2012 Pro Helvetia has assumed responsibility for the Swiss
contributions to the biennials of Venice and Cairo. Switzerland has
been present at the International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di
Venezia since 1920.

Nominations for the Biennials
The nominees for both, the art and architecture biennials in Venice,
are within the responsibility of an independent Jury commissioned by
the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia. Its seven members until 2014 are:
Peter Fischli, artist; Beatrice Galilee, curator and critic; Katya
García-Antón, curator; Simona Martinoli, art and architecture
historian; Arthur de Pury, curator Centre d'art Neuchâtel; Philippe
Rahm, architect (chairman); Peter Schneemann, Director art history
department, University of Bern.

The Swiss Pavilion in Venice
The Swiss Pavilion in Venice, just around the corner from the main
entrance to the ‹Giardini della Biennale› exhibition site, was set up
by architect Bruno Giacometti in 1951/52 and is in the possession of
the Swiss Confederation. The layout is based on the original
functional division into sculpture room, graphics room and the skylit
room for paintings.