Corrupted materials and soiled objects, dust and rust invading surfaces and floors, broken concrete, coarse ceramics, water in a continuous circuit,
mountaincutters' installations are traces of improbable activities, suspended between construction and destruction, architecture and archaeology, sometimes resembling an abandoned building site.
A raw character, not to say brutal, whose "formlessness" raises a share of doubt. Arranged (or rather disturbed) like a carpet under the dust. This manifest aridity, a chaotic arte povera tendency, does not mask the rigour and precision of discreetly theatrical compositions, which always imply an activity "en creux". In fact, everything here resonates with an absent body, of which the sculptures presented are prostheses, rudimentary and insufficient appendages frozen in a functional logic whose purpose escapes us.
And if it were a theatre scene, it would be that of tragedy, or more precisely of its resurgence in the industrial era, minus the fever, the industrial age, but with the distancing. In fact, mountaincutters' sculptural practice has something literary about it. It is accompanied by a parallel work of writing, a raw poetry written in the first person, which opens an organic counterpart to the material structures, between programme and potential commentary on what might happen in the space. Sometimes it is the presence of images that initiates the beginnings of a narrative. From then on, it is an unfathomable mystery that emerges from this "work", which is understood here in the double etymological sense of work and opera, i.e. linked to the pain, to the modification of bodies, but also to the enigma of creation.
The duo mountaincutters (1990, Marseille) graduated from the Ecole Supérieure d'Arts et de Design Marseille Méditerranée. Their work has been presented in numerous group exhibitions in Belgium, France and internationally. In 2021, their work was the subject of an exhibition at La Verrière-Fondation d'entreprise Hermès curated by Guillaume Désanges. In 2023, a solo exhibition was dedicated to them at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.