“All my works are a mix of order and uncertainty”
AT: Where are you from and how/why did you start engaging with art?
PC: I am from Tarbes, a little city in south west of France, close to the Spanish border. I was involved in music production with a team of friends, playing different styles, from metal hardcore to techno or electronica. It was the end of the nineties, and visuals in these kind of, at that times, underground scenes were very present. After travelling a bit, I went to art school to make better music, but I discovered I was having more fun making sculptures and paintings. It started like this.
AT: When did it become serious?
PC: I had shows before my degree and had my first residency right after. So I started quite directly after school, in 2010. But it really began in 2014 after moving back from Berlin to Paris, first galleries contacts, first nice sales…
AT: Are there any person who has been significant in your breakthrough as an artist?
PC: I don’t consider I have succeed yet. The path I chose is quite long. But I can say that Jean-François Dumont helped me, connected me with institutions and a certain behind-the-scenes network.
AT: What is your first approach to the work? How would you describe your practice?
PC: I collect a lot of data everyday through different feeds. The common point of all these samples, coming from reality, is their fictional potentiality. When I see an anti-air radar system, i see sci-fi. When I start a new serie, I work on a recipe with these elements, a protocol, that I follow until it freaks me out and/or the encryption is enough to confuse me. At the end, all my works are a mix of order and uncertainty.
Tumb-SAT /wd-Ghi:sDARpa, 2020, Fiberglass, wood, jesmonite, NATO paint, varnish, polyester threads, 185x185x85 cm, Unique / Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Valeria Cetraro, Paris / ph. Lev Ilizirov.
AT: What do you aim to reach with your work?
PC: Some artists try to run away from reality to accept the world we live in, I mean, painting flowers, sex or whatever. This is reality and i like this kind of art sometimes. But I feel more like a whistleblower. Even if i use a lot of layers, I think I point a lot of nowadays malfunctions, even in the art world.
AT: What are your favourite tools and materials for working?
PC: I don’t hierarchise any technique or material. Manufactured objects, traditional sculptures materials like clay, resin, wood, metal and a lot of prints on acrylic glass. The membrane/surface effect of it, is very efficient to express our relationship to screen culture.
AT: What do you feel while you work? Do you usually think about the final outcome beforehand?
PC: Post-production is present at every steps but I rarely finish the way I want. A lot of my gestures are hypnotic, so I can think about the next ones during process. I need some braindance at the studio.
AT: How do you understand that a work is finished?
PC: I know it’s finished when I don’t understand it anymore.
PERS,SC,PLX,OYST,SYS (e), 2018, Pine wood, MDF, acrylic, UV print on, transparent acrylic glass, oyster shells, sisal, laurel barks, cotton, hunting primitive tech arrow heads, laurel peeled branches, fluorescent tubes, 280x140x16 cm. Unique / Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Valeria Cetraro, Paris / ph. Monia Ben Hamouda
AT: Where does the inspiration for the work come from?
PC: It’s always linked to my data bank. Military industry, high tech breakthroughs, ecocides, past events, last material discoveries, science in general. Everything I can use to produce my own fictions.
AT: Are there any artists who influenced your works? Why?
PC: I would say more scientists and writers, like Alexander Von humboldt, Franck Herbert, Clement Rosset. Artists would be Carsten Nicolai, Bruno Gironcoli, John Arlmeder. This list can be very long and boring.
AT: How important is the role of social media for you?
PC: It’s the perfect tool for story telling whatever you want your audience believe, I don’t use them efficiently. It is very important to keep a presence on them, building your avatar and of course make new connections. We are already in a post social media thing even if we don’t figure it out yet. It can take too much time and changes your work. Which real artist want to make Instagram Art ? Or blog Art ?
firaXT,krypXT:5, 2020, Acrylic and polyester resin on polyester fabric, artist custom aluminium frame, acrylic, varnish, UV print on transparent acrylic glass, wifi antennas, stainless steel, 140x100x10 cm, Unique / Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Valeria Cetraro, Paris / ph. Salim Santa Lucia
AT: What do you find to be the most challenging or daunting thing about pursuing art? What is the most rewarding part of working as an artist?
PC: The hardest part is to avoid aesthetics traps and trends. We re bombed by galleries, press PR, everyday. Sometimes you want to align. And you start to become someone else. Finally meeting yourself is the most challenging thing. And it can be scary. The most rewarding part for me is to still be invited by students in little group shows, anywhere. I am born in 1981 and the fact that my work is talking to someone born in the nineties is really pleasant.
AT: What do you do besides art?
PC: Not so much.
AT: What are your goals and expectations for the future?
PC: A mix of Mad Max and alien disclosure, I guess.
fEAT-kni/folD:booSAT, 2020, Knives, custom synthetiser stands, sisal, satellite heads, found wood, bamboo, random feathers 170 x 65 x 45 cm. Unique / Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Valeria Cetraro, Paris
Pierre Clement (b. 1981) is a French visual artist currently living and working between Paris and Bordeaux. Clement mostly dedicates his work to sculpture, paintings and installations. He permanently questions the notion of image and the means of representation. He is inspired by alternative cultures and underground Internet. His works highlight some particularities of our collective imagination: sci-fi, hacking, survivalism, satellite mapping, biotechnologies, military imagery, etc. They are heterogeneous in their forms and materials, but all appeal to similar methods: repetition, proliferation, encryption, overlap, replica, assembling. By meticulously examining their skeletons, the viewer is brought to question his own vision and certitudes.