Winner of the AMMA Award
From the stone, we will see you walk
FROM APRIL 17 TO MAY 13 , 2023
Pierre DUVAL, born in 2000, is an artist, curator and scenographer. He lives and works in Paris. His poetic approach, Still Life, is in line with our unstable present and questions about extinction. Working with different mediums, such as video, drawing, performance, sculpture, the artist approaches it through the vanity, the still life and the landscape. In his work, personal and collective memory is symbolized through the use of mediums or everyday objects, with a desire for "destruction" in the process. He transcribes spaces where the works can dialogue and debate with each other. His work poetically reflects the chaos that our time is facing, facing a complex past and a future bathed in uncertainty.
"From the stone, we will see you walk," photographic installation, 2023.
"From the stone, we will see you walk" is a photographic restitution of the work "To our Grandfathers".
"To our Grandfathers" is a work realized over a period of three months from August to October 2021. The raw materials used are empty cans that come from the transmission of my grandfather. He died in the 90's and these cans were waiting in the attic. Otherwise, I remember the exchanges with my paternal grandfather and our common taste for long walks in the forest. Long walks inspired me to create this motif of piles of leaves, piles formed by the work of the wind. On the other hand, a legacy was left to me: boxes of old cans, unused, belonging to my grandfather. Being more than 30 years old, these cans allowed me to create a modular sculpture. Like stone becoming dust, the pile of leaves is destined to decompose. Like stone turning to dust, the pile of leaves is destined to decay. One of the oxidizing properties of tinplate is that it darkens over time, so this work is in some way destined to die symbolically. Through the use of this metal, the time of decomposition is prolonged and allows me to pay a last tribute to the memory of my departed grandfathers. The pile of leaves becomes a form of vanity between the landscape and the still life, echoing our own cycle. A work still alive." Pierre Duval
Restitution of a travelling memory, "From the stone, we will see you walk" is a silent tribute to both grandfathers and this generation of students who will never leave the University. The work, preceded by the hall Saint Jacques which bears the names of students who died for France, is concretely part of the dynamic architecture of Sorbonne Artgallery, making the passage a space of movement and transmission. Along the corridor stretches a carpet of metal sheets in nine photographs that refuse a static contemplation in favor of a reception through movement, necessary to appreciate the entirety.
The act of walking is accompanied by that of inheritance. Each leaf, singular in the work of its torsions by the artist's hand, represents an individuality, a metaphor in filigree of the young people who preceded us in this historic place. This path of tin forms, in fact, the foliage of a family tree with a temporality frozen by the photographic act. Indeed, if the destruction by the oxidation of the metal is a characteristic of the original work, the photographic shooting counteracts the course of the natural process. This interruption of the work by the image is as definitive as the names engraved in the marble of the memorial plaques. The viewer passes by and overtakes them, continuing the hindered act of mowed-down life.
In true dialogue with the site, Pierre Duval's work gives form and substance to ghostly identities, thus continuing his approach to work that revolves around the persistence in the phenomenon of disappearance of things.
By Amélie Boulin