Jeune Sculpture at Port Austerlitz, Virginia Whiles Serreau, Artscribe International, 1986

Dans Artscribe International n° 59, September-October 1986

 Several current and forthcoming shows reveal a new vitality in contemporary French sculpture. The annual « Jeune Sculpture » exhibition, sited alongside the Seine in the dockyards of Port Austerlitz, confirms a certain tendency towards « scenographic » sculpture: a mise-en-scène of various pieces, concerned more with order in space and inter-relationships, than with the primacy of the autonomous object. Two artists stood out: Ghislaine Vappereau for her kitchen scenes, disorientating decors assembled with three-dimensional collages of scrap machines and gadgets framed by decrepit lino; a macabre museum of domesticity. Nicolas Herubel for his sacred precinct: a tiled mosaic mound surmounted by an elegant wrought-iron railing, pomp with- out circumstance. Despite the obvious contrasts, these two pieces share a strong theatrical aspect; with their dislocation of contexts and in the marked absence of any protagonists they suggest a sense of the ridiculous, of the purposelessness of it all, like a visual metaphor for a Beckett text.

 Virginia Whiles Serreau