Text written by Pinar Asan
For the exhibition Reunion...Bulusma, Sakip Sabanci Müzesi, Istanbul, 2015
Baptiste Croze's works investigate the multifaced relationships that his material establishes with time and space. His in-situ installations may be perceived as open propositions rather than closed visual structures, and produce theses that stand as alternatives to conventional sculpture and the ways of confronting it, inviting the observer to bring to the fore such details as materiality, volume, dimensions, and weight. In Croze's works, one can follow the traces of the debates on form that have taken place in the contexts of post-minimalist and conceptual art. He sets in motion the oppositions between the physical properties of his materials and the optical illusions they produce. At the same time, he once again takes up such concepts as representation, order, authority, the body, and identity.
In the installation H me made (2012) and home-made (2013), Croze turns such dense materials as concrete, pig's entrails, and PVC tiles into abstract sculptures specific to their setting, emphasizing the unusual nature of the material by juxtaposing it with dimension. Both works play with the audienc's perception, setting themselves in opposition to the classical sculptural tradition by establishing direct contact with the wall on the spatial plane where they are installed. The artist calls for a reconsideration of a sculpture as an object, proposing that it be taken up as a category of space-time.
In his project Pop-up (2009-2015), Croze intervenes in the monumental images on the faces of various banknotes, turning them into three-dimensional forms of identical size. these new structures leave behind the symbolic value and concrete power of money, becoming ordinary everyday objects. This process is turned on its head in the series SEHKMET_MARIEJESUS_FEMME(BENIN)
_MOINEPLEUREUR_TOTEM3SINGES_PYRAMIDE (2014) where the mass-produced little statues on sale at holiday resorts as symbolic of different cultures are transformed into original works. Made of wood, metal, resin, and the like, these statues are stoned by Croze and reduced to abstract form; the ostensible products of handicrafts, these ready-made objects are consequently brought back into the fold of art. In order to emphasize the paradoxical process thus undergone by the objects, the artist represents them by a series of photographs.
At the Buluşma... Reunion exhibition, the Sculptural Studies re-imagined by the artist in different locations and contexts since 2011 densely place familiar everyday decorative objects onto the floor of the exhibition hall. Sculptural Studies (All black), specifically designed for the exhibition, places black objects in vertical positions across the floor at symmetrical distances from each other and from the walls that enclose the hall. As the audience moves through the spaces between the objects in order to experience the work, their placement below the knee leads to a bird's-eye view of the scene, thus displaying them not as singular objects but as spots on the floor. The visual simplicity of the installation and its humble but immersive intervention in space invite the audience to question the possibilities of the spaces their bodies occupy, and the probable spaces within the space. The volume of the objects, their formal juxtaposition, and their phallic orientation also make references to the dominant discourse in classical art history that disregards societal gender regimes.