Valentin Carron (b. 1977, Martigny, Switzerland) is known for his sculptural works which
are permeate with symbols, forms of archaeological discoveries, in which ubiquitous
cultural icons—particularly those associated with the rural area of his native Martigny,
Switzerland—are transformed into objects brimming with humor and pathos.
He appropriates seemingly ubiquitous forms and recreates them, so that objects emptied
of their significance over time are re-energized and re-awakened.
The inserted references become a perfect tool for building his own appropriative pictorial
and sign system. Throughout the works, Carron is questioning the idea of national identity
and tradition by a humorous use of vernacular and before mentioned method of
In some cases, anodyne modernist sculptures that originally existed in materials like stone
are reimagined by Carron in synthetic ones like polystyrene, complete with trompe l’oeil
effects that mimic the decaying forces of weather. In others, he utilizes natural materials
like iron or bronze, introducing distortions and dramatic shifts in scale. Equal parts homage
and iconoclasm, Carron’s work is a materials-based critique of the relationship between
the authentic and the fabricated, and between local and global modes of creative