Contemporary art publications — Visual artists in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Baptiste CROZE

update January 17 2018

Excerpt from Emboîter les trouvés

Martial Déflacieux, 2016

Translated by Lucy Pons


Baptiste Croze's work follows supposedly simple rules. These rules, however, cannot conceal the slow maturation his research undergoes. His approach could of course be circumscribed to a few activities: sorting, bargain-hunting, collecting and gathering, then sanding, moulding, unmoulding, cutting, photographing, and finally, arranging, scattering, hanging up, and setting up. This being said, the artist's work cannot be described in such simple terms; is he a photographer, a sculptor, or a visual artist? In any case, it demonstrates a certain pleasure in searching for combinations [...].

Baptiste Croze's studio contains every aspect we wish it had: it is a place where experiments, accidents, findings, and surprises happen, all carried out with meticulous attention and the share of naivety required in any artistic undertaking. His approach compels him to invent his own techniques and to find solutions to the questions that he alone seems to ask. How, for instance, is one to produce a satisfying counter-mould of a bust of Marilyn Monroe or Elvis Presley? How is one to best adjust the shape of a wax applicator to the shape of a pot of water? Which is the best section of such and such a polygonal object? These and other questions are strictly related to the series he develops.

Les formes données [The given forms] is the title of one of his latest series. In it, strange pairs of mutually fascinated objects that everything seems to oppose go against the flow of the myth of Aristophanes and of a supposedly bisected androgyny. These pairs of objects are not combined for being the obvious parts of a whole, but because they are, as it were, reverse mirror images of one another [...].

The artist's approach renders useless any reference to anything else but what is there. Each of his visual choices is directed at the materialisation of images and sculptures which, because of their strange harmony, seem to have always been the way they are in spite of the alterations they may have undergone.