| Visual Artist |
As the point of departure to understanding the artworks of Arnaud Sprimont, I would like to use an idea from French philosopher Blaise Pascal (1) as a reference: what is my place in the infinite, what is my place in nature? Adopting the interrogative form as an approach to A.S.'s work is key and an integral part of what he does. His work is much like an open exercise, constantly questioning, evolving and morphing, never at rest. A.S.'s work is rooted is his view of man. In their work, he opens up his private life; the intimacy of his body, the privacy of his relationship with nature, and beyond nature, his vision of human nature. At the outset, there is observation. Observation which is not confined to what the human eye can see. Using modern techniques, ranging from nano-scale imagery to satellite views, A. S. challenges the boundaries of his body and his perception of the world around him. The study of pseudomorphosisms is echoed in the perception of his own experiences. Reflecting and blending scales back and forth,the infinitely large finds meaning in the infinitely small, where an abyss of possibilities opens itself up to him.
Setting out from these studies, he then embarks on constructing a narrative. It is not about lending meaning to this infinite, but to talk about the tensions and romances felt, to highlight relations thought unlikely. In confronting the scales, A. S. composes his own history, seeks his path, gladly losing himself in the illusions there to behold. For, as he states himself, it is not about arriving at a set destination but rather about roaming along a vast path: "the work that goes into these pieces and forms is much like a very long walk in nature, where I am ultimately swallowed whole by the earth and I am at one with the rock. My lungs are like the moss around the trees and my arms can embrace the mountains, like the branches of a giant tree, while my spirit flies off like an owl into the night above the hills". By choosing to position oneself - both physically and mentally - on the edge of this infinite chasm, and as suggested by the title of the exhibition, in the face of chaos, one might think that the artists puts himself into an uncomfortable and harrowing situation. This is not the case.
The road A. S. is walking is a serene path; the compositions he creates - much as they have a crude and elementary aspect - in the same way as seen in the sights of nature - are solid and compact. The use of two unique and opposite colours in the creation of the various pieces of this work, act to illustrate the artist's acceptance to simultaneously skirt the depths of the dark night - synonymous with secrecy - and those of white light - which refers to knowledge. Even when finding himself faced with difficult to fathom secrets, he remains undaunted by this immensity. A. S. is pursuing his path in nature, in his nature, and through his creations narrates the geology of his own body, finding its place in a matter in constant transformation.
Marie-Luce Martin, January 2014
(1) Blaise Pascal, “Les Pensées: les deux infinis”