les presses du réel
Preliminary Notes for an Inventory of the Plasters
Cédric Loire
(p. 11-12)

To approach the work of Arnaud Vasseux concentrating on the particular category of the large-scale sculptures in unreinforced plaster, to which he gives the generic term Cassables, the first of which date from 2004 (Homo Bulla), is certainly to confront the most singular aspect of his art, because it means accepting from the outset that one can only evoke works that no longer exist.

I should add that more enduring and smaller sculptures may sometimes be combined with the Cassables, notably the Concrétés (2003–4) or the Déchirés/ retournés (Torn/Turned, 2009), also made in plaster. Other works on the same scale as the Cassables are animated by a rotating movement, a centrifugal force that defines their form: the cylinder of newsprint that is at breaking point in Fin de bobine (End of Reel, 2010), the transparent blue veil hung up during the L'Art dans les chapelles event (2010), or the Zootropes (2001–2), evoking those proto-cinematographic machines. Others are the result of seemingly simple actions: Drop (2006), constituted by a simple sheet of hollowed-out polypropylene held in a curve between the floor and wall, with no other means of fixation; Tour (Tower, 2006), a volume of old cardboard boxes enveloped and compressed by stretch wrap and occupying the full height of the exhibition space; Bac (Tub, 2009), a horizontal sculpture with a shallow rectangular basin filled with colorant on the surface of which is thrown a drop of oil paint, which breaks down into innumerable ramifications.

Like these works, the Cassables present a transitional state of matter in a particular situation. Generally exhibited alongside other works in smaller dimensions (drawings on paper, sculptures in resin or fibreglass), they follow their own processual and structural logic, maintaining a close relation with the built environment by virtue of their related scale and the material impossibility of shifting them. Temporarily transforming the exhibition space into a studio, the Cassables effectively need to be made in the very place where visitors will later come across them.

Arnaud Vasseux: other title

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