Etienne Chambaud (born 1980 in Mulhouse, France, lives and works in Paris) carries out a persistent exploration on the nature of a work of art: its relation to other works, its contexts, and the way artworks are used, charged with meaning or endowed with a particular narrative.
Chambaud's work never functions in isolation but finds its sense or its interest in a permanent dialogue with other works. They grow mutually rich, while gradually drawing the vague contours of a constellation made of common references. They work as palimpsests, which guard the trace of a former work while proposing a new composition, thus oscillating endlessly between inescapable repetition and continuous new horizons.
The works of Étienne Chambaud don't deliver themselves solely through the interpretation of their form, but require recourse to an additional element, such as their titles or captions, to be circumscribed. He creates a discomforting situation by confronting the spectator with an enigmatic and seemingly mute object. However, the hermetic nature of the work does not lean on elitism, but rather creates a certain equality between its spectators.
Raphael Brunel, Les Cahiers de la Création Contemporaine
Vincent Normand is an art historian, writer, curator, and professor at ECAL
– University of Art and Design Lausanne.