Accumulation from here and elsewhere

Cyril Barrand is regularly welcomed in Alsace as a native son. But since his time as a student of the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Strasbourg between 1987 and 1992, the artist has travelled a long path... A path that crosses the whole of Europe taking him unceasingly between France and Poland, the two countries where he lives and works. Two singular horizons which constitute for him a dense fount of images. It is an inexhaustible source of inspiration that the artist uses as raw material for his work, always in concordance with his concern of juxtaposition and assemblage. This tendency was already present in his work in the 90’s, the beginning of a period of active creativity for this young man, then just freshly graduated from the painting department of the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs.

And from the beginning, Cyril Barrand oscillated between painting, sculpture, video and the deployment of his work in spatial installations. The problem of accumulation, of combination, of assemblage is not limited in his work to a unique medium. His series of sculptures of hybrid inspiration display a willingness to be inspired by everything: air-tubes, glass, metal, wood, rubber, buttons,... An assemblage of materials that constitutes an interesting base vocabulary for a very personal creation...
In his paintings, in oil or acrylic, more often exhibited both here and there, Cyril Barrand accumulates symbols and motifs on canvasses where he is not afraid sometimes to leave the marks of his crayon, testimony to the detailed process of the decisions and resolutions that enable a work to come into being.

For let the spectator make no mistake. Here assemblage is never a synonym for bricolage (do-it-yourself). Cyril Barrand is ardently attached through this principle to always giving a new dimension to the objects, matters or motifs that he uses in what he calls an « aesthetics of liaison ». This is a new dimension or another reading that can be serious, grave, poetic or bear the imprint of a humour that is always a propos. More often than not it is an ironic humour that a neighbour could direct on us. For more than just an artist, Cyril Barrand is an attentive globe-trotter and sensitive observer: in 1995, he spent a spell in Portugal; in 2001, he took part in a travelling exhibition of Cypriot and French artists on the invitation of Apollonia; and in 2002 he left for Lublin in Poland for the preservation of the Old Theatre at the invitation of the Galeria Na Prowincji Foundation: a work which led to an exhibition at Rueil-Malmaison at the Château de la Petite Malmaison, in 2004, he participated in the exhibition POLART Ici la Pologne ! (Here is Poland!) where he was invited to participate alongside artists from Italy, Poland and Germany. Today, he has returned to Strasbourg for an exhibition of French and Turkish artists in the Apollonia space, Etrangeté en soi (Strangeness in oneself).

This understanding of the other, even if one caught just in glimpses, allows him to play with habits, traditions, images or words. A humour conveyed by the titles that contribute to the reading of the work and of the story that it tells: To patch up, An angel pisses, an imp passes, Man descending from an illusion, ...

But humour never erases the consciousness of what is hidden behind a word, an expression or a belief. Thus, on the occasion of the Polish Season in France and the exhibition Ici la Pologne!, Cyril Barrand presents in Strasbourg a painting, M.O.T.S (Words) and a video Voyailleurs (Voyage or Voyeurism to Elsewhere) which make reference to the worst moments in Europe’s common history: deportation and concentration camps.
Beyond the juxtaposition and combination, Cyril Barrand succeeds in making us see the essential. This is surely a beginning of a definition of the word talent?...

Nadège MOREAU, June 2005
Regioart magazine


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