Text by Ann Hindry
14/09/2017 - 28/10/2017
Since his return from a 6-month artist residency in New York, Thomas Tronel-Gauthier continues to question the world and our place in it by capturing its multiple and tiny physical incidences. He then patiently extrapolates them within the artistic langage he favors to us to see and think about.
Thomas Tronel-Gauthier chooses to summon the world and our relation to it by treating the infinitely small processes so as to make us consciously aware, and/or give us a sense, of the infinitely large. Each work, with its complex implementation and the subtlety of its final state, is a reminder of the link we maintain with the habitat that has shaped us. Similarly to his renowned Land Art or Arte Povera predecessors, he takes into consideration that every natural element in motion – object, shape, trace – is the random result of a combination of forces governed by the unchangeable rules of the physical universe. He also shares with them a specific concern with the sense of impermanence that compels one to try to capture and rationalize it, through an organised language of shapes or words.
Thomas Tronel-Gauthier does not interfere with the natural course of things. He « extracts » a moment whose dynamics he will then later recreate in the studio, in order to achieve a plastic metamorphosis on the scale of his idea. He only controls the lability of his patient and careful creation process up to a certain point: that when nature and culture meet. He hence preserves the principle of uncertainty as well as the meaning which he intends to confer to it. He explores « the meaning that material can give to shape » by using one of the most time-honoured techniques man has used to mark its habitat or extract from it identical excipients : imprinting and moulding. The first dialogue registered with the reality of the world. The artist thus shows a familiar instance in an alternative way, revisiting the interaction of the two elements that rule the planet : the soil and the sea, the solid and the liquid.
Thinking the world is also speaking it. Speaking it is also about using words, the words in the works’ titles and in the announcements, and especially the words within the work, the words as key elements of the artist’s approach.
[Translated by Sadie Fletcher]