Julien Creuzet

14 January – 13 March 2022

As the second recipient of Camden Art Centre’s Emerging Artist Prize at Frieze, French-Caribbean artist Julien Creuzet (b. 1986 France) will present a new installation commissioned especially for Gallery 3. This will be his first UK institutional exhibition in the UK.

Born in the Parisian Banlieue, Creuzet grew up in Martinique and now lives and works in Paris. Eluding reductive cultural narratives, Creuzet places his lived experience at the heart of his practice whilst allowing the work to shine a light on collective social realities of the Caribbean diaspora, focusing on the troubled intersection between Caribbean histories and the events of European modernity. Creuzet describes his ancestral home, Martinique, as “the heart of my imagination” and the visual and aural languages that collide in his installations migrate and transform through a process of creolisation, entering into a dialogue with the question of emancipation, a spirit of black affirmation and the feeling of the Caribbean dispora as it exists now.

Creuzet’s multi-disciplinary practice interweaves poetic, sensory, political and social forms and his new commission at Camden will fill the Centre’s Gallery 3 with a dense installation incorporating sculpture, assemblage, poetry and music. His distinctive sculptural language often repurposes found materials – cords, nets, wires, ropes, bags – relics or detritus washed ashore by oceans or the unrelenting progress of history. This installation will involve a series of new suspended and floor-based sculptures informed by the insignia carried on the flags of Caribbeancountries that gained independence after centuries of colonial rule – representations of animals and vegetal forms that composed their motifs. He invites visitors to navigate an environment filled with words and symbols, colours and textures, drawn from the heritage of different cultures, allowing relationships between disparate elements to be drawn out through the imagination. The work exists in deliberate dialogue with the space of the gallery as well as the social and political content of London, in particular the cultural heritage of the Caribbean diaspora and its continuing influence on British culture, generating some of its most powerful art and music, from Calypso, Ska and Reggea to Drill and contemporary urban music.

Camden Art Centre has a reputation for platforming artists at critical moments in their careers, when the exposure to London and international audiences has the most impact on the trajectory of their practices. Creuzet is the second recipient of Camden Art Centre’s Emerging Artist Prize, awarded to an artist selected from the galleries in Frieze Art Fair’s Focus section – the area of the fair dedicated to supporting younger galleries and artists in earlier stages of their careers. The prizewinner is offered their first show at a London institution in Camden Art Centre’s galleries – providing invaluable critical exposure at a pivotal stage in the their career. Since awarding Cruezet the prize in 2018 his work has received international recognition including the prestigious BMW Art Journey award and a nomination for the Prix Marcel Duchamp.

 

Image: Julien Creuzet, Allied Chemicals & Dye, 2019, High Art, Paris, installation view. Courtesy of the artist and High Art, Paris / Arles


Biography

Julien Creuzet (b. 1986, Le Blanc Mesnil, France) lives and works in Montreuil, France. The artist graduated from the School of Fine Arts in Caen, the Post-Diploma in Fine Arts at the Lyon Academy and the Fresnoy – Studio national des arts contemporains. Recent solo exhibitions include: cloud cloudy glory doodles on the leaves pages, memory slowly the story redness sadness bloody redness on the skin, Document, Chicago (2020); Allied Chemical & Dye, High Art, Paris (2019); Il pleut encore, des minis gouttelettes (…), CAN Centre d’art Neuchâtel, Switzerland (2019); les lumières affaiblies des étoiles lointaines (…), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2019); Great moment of transport, body to body, boat on my dunes boat on your back hands on our waves it’s beautiful both ocean flow (…), Kiosk, Ghent (2019). Recent group exhibitions include: MOMENTA, Biennale de l’image, Montréal, Canada (2021); Frestas Triennial, Sao Paolo, Brasil (2021); PoetArtist / ArtistPoet, HOME, Manchester, England (2021); For the Phoenix to Find its Form in Us: On Restitution, Rehabilitation, and Reparation, SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin, Germany (2021) Lisbon, Portugal (2021). Creuzet is currently nominated for the Prix Marcel Duchamp 2021. He is represented by High Art, Paris.