Inter-meshing shapes and materials, « archipelago » works : the installations produced by visual artist Julien Creuzet aggregate music, poetry, video and, most recently, virtual reality. Haunted by the colonial past, his work reinvents our historical narratives with a touch of lyricism.
Born in 1986 in the Paris suburbs, Julien Creuzet spent most of his childhood in Martinique. Those early years in the Caribbean islands, where the African, Indian and European cultures meet, permeate his work, distinctive for the blend between these multiple collective imaginations.
Returning to France, he studied at the École Supérieure d'Arts in Caen and the Beaux-Arts in Lyon before entering Studio national des arts contemporains du Fresnoy in 2012. It was at this point that he began exhibiting – with « Standard & Poor’s, the New World » in 2012 and 2013, from Turin to Caen, and the Centquatre's Young Creators’ studio in Paris in 2012.
Exhibiting at Biennale de Lyon or as part of the Hors-Pistes festival at the Centre Pompidou in 2017, and at Fondation Ricard in 2018, his protean installations quickly made a name for themselves on the art scene, with their freedom of form.
Consistently pitting sound, writing and raw material (wood, plant, metal) against each other, he conceives of his work as a whole, where meaning flows from the narratives borne by each object. The seashell – a spiritual object, a dynamic form and a jewel case home to so many stories – is a recurring symbolic piece.
Julien Creuzet’s first installations, including Opéra-Archipel (2015), also refer to post-colonialism through a subtle mesh of references, such as Les Indes galantes de Rameau or a 1931 issue of the magazine Toutes nos colonies.
The influence of West Indian philosopher and poet Édouard Glissant, through his definition of creolisation as a clash and harmony of cultures, permeates works such as Head-to-head, Hidden head, Light (2017) or Maïs Chaud Marlboro (2018). This latest immersive, virtual reality installation, presented as part of the VR Arles Festival, also marks his decision to open up to all media, so as to better reinvent historical narratives.
With his blended culture and aesthetic approach, Julien Creuzet has established himself as an artist whose productions resonate all over the world. His projects have been shown in Colombia, the United States and Italy, as well as on the African continent at the Biennale de l'Art Contemporain de Dakar (2016) and the Rencontres de Bamako (2017) where he received the International Organisation of La Francophonie’s award for Head-to-head, Hidden head, Light.
Some of his works have become part of collections: for instance, at Lafayette Anticipations (Les galets que nous sommes finiront par couler (2017)) or Centre Pompidou – which acquired the installation Me sens-tu par terre, petits jeux […] (2018) in 2019. The artist’s journey echoes his own ambition: to tell something of the human experience, by having forms interact with one another.
Julien Creuzet is born in Blanc-Mesnil. He spends his childhood in Martinique.
He joins the Le Fresnoy – Studio national des arts contemporains and produces his first group exhibitions.
The FRAC Normandie Caen hosts Opéra-archipelago, ma peau rouge, henné, one of his first major projects.
Head-to-head, Hidden head, Light is awarded the International Organisation of La Francophonie Award at the Biennale des Rencontres de Bamako.
Julien Creuzet exhibits at the Nuit Blanche and the Foire internationale d'art contemporain in Paris.
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Julien Creuzet received the prize of the International Organization of the Francophonie for Head-to-head, Hidden head, Light at the 2017 Bamako Encounters, of which the Institut français is a partner.
Julien Creuzet's work was also honoured at the exhibition « Future, Former, Fugitive - A French Scene » at the Palais de Tokyo, from October 16, 2019 to January 5, 2020. The artist is also presented on culturevr.fr, an Institut français platform which offers a panoramic view of cultural innovation in virtual reality.
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