Valentin Merle (CH, 1994)
Residency period: November-December 2019
Marked by aesthetics that refer both to minimal art and op art (repetition, simple forms, optical effects), the Sunway installation distances itself from these influences thanks to its poetic and immersive scope.
Through an interplay between reflection, projection, appearance and disappearance created by the movement of blinds, visitors are invited to enter a space that is both revealing and challenging. While the projected lines emphasise the vertical and horizontal ones compose the piece, as they close, the blinds prevent one from seeing while showing shapes on their surface. The multitude of events that unfold simultaneously require concentration and a watchful eye.
A technological device artificially recreates and enhances phenomena which are usually created by a fundamental natural element i.e. the sun. The blind’s usual role is reversed. Instead of being a visual barrier between the inside and the outside, it serves to reveal the space. Hence, a dialogue unfolds with architecture and in a broader context, that of La Becque facility, whose blinds are a significant component.
In a desire to minimise the ecological impact of the production, all the equipment used was either rented or recycled, apart from the motors, which were purchased.
Valentin Merle studied at the Ecole de Recherche Graphique in Brussels and then obtained a bachelor’s degree in visual arts at the édhéa (Sierre) in 2019. He occupied the Atelier Tremplin of the Ferme-Asile (Sion) until September 2020 with “Humble Gestures”, a a research questioning the place of the artwork in the current economy and on the means deployed to meet the demands of the market and the public.
Programming: Pablo Bellon
Technical support and electronics: Jean Sottas