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The French pavilion by Julien Creuzet at the 60th Venice Biennale

The 60th Venice Biennale will be held from 20th April to 24th November 2024. Its theme, “Foreigners Everywhere”, inspired by Claire Fontaine’s work of the same name, focuses on “immigrant, expatriate, diasporic, exiled and refugee” artists and their atypical careers.

Julien Creuzet, a Franco-Caribbean visual artist and poet, represents France through a composition that combines a diversity of materials, histories, forms and gestures.

Julien Creuzet © Pascal Cholette

Dreamlike landscapes in the French pavilion

The artist presents a multisensory and poetic installation entitled “Attila cataracts your source at the foot of the green peaks will end in the great sea blue abyss“.

A video animation projected onto the neo-Gothic façade of the pavilion brings to life mythological figures embodying the five continents. Inside, intertwined liana-sculptures, ropes from marine hoisting nets, organic elements and rubbish create a marvellous underwater landscape that blends aquatic and sylvan imaginations.

This underwater aesthetic is complemented by 80 composite sculptures. Classical statues of ancient empires drift upside down, hybrid beings (female rays, male squid, baby swimmers) are depicted dancing. The principle of assemblage employed is characteristic of the artist’s work, which combines industrial materials with natural elements such as shipwrecks formed by the surf.

Julien Creuzet also wanted to convey his visions of the forest and the perceptions it arouses: a place for witches, a place of resistance, a hostile place, in his view it is “a multi-sensory space that intensely involves the body”.

 © Jacopo la Forgia

© Marco Zorzanello

© Jacopo la Forgia

Poetry, musicality and creole orality 

Creole, poetic and often cryptic, language holds a prominent place here. Witness the title of the exhibition – “Attila cataracts your source / at the foot of the green peaks / will end in the great sea / blue abyss / we drowned / in the tears tides of the moon.” – which is a work in itself. Julien Creuzet reminds us of the importance of using Creole to translate images, onomatopoeia that can only be said in that language. A pop soundtrack played in the space allows the poet’s voice and words to be heard. Using alliteration and associations of images and ideas, the poems reveal a dreamy ultramarine consonance.

© Marco Zorzanello

Transoceanic cultures and myths in Serenissima

On 6 February 2024, to launch his participation in the Biennial, Julien Creuzet organised a press conference in Martinique, at the Maison Édouard Glissant in Le Diamant. By inaugurating its participation in the Biennial in this way, the French pavilion is underlining the essential contribution made by the overseas territories to the visual, literary and intellectual fields.

Combining a variety of artistic media, the artist probes the founding myths of these mixed civilisations, inviting viewers to immerse themselves in the pictorial, sculptural, literary and sonic landscapes that make up the Carribean territory. Described by the poet and visual artist as an “archipelago”, the city evokes the maritime movement, the meeting point of waters, shores and artists.

© Marco Zorzanello

© Courtesy Julien Creuzet et High Art, Paris

Julien Creuzet

Born in 1986 in Le Blanc-Mesnil, Julien Creuzet is a Franco-Martinican poet and visual artist. Combining sculpture, visual installations and poetry, he creates narrative spaces where collective memory and personal history meet. (Like relics brought ashore by an ocean tide, the objects he composes question colonial legacies, hybrid identities and possible futures). After receiving the 2019 Camden Arts Centre Award in London, he was nominated two years later for the Marcel Duchamp Prize.