You might be wondering what's with all the hype about Julien Creuzet. The French-Caribbean artist closed his solo exhibition at Palais de Tokyo in Paris in May and now has an exhibition at High Art, also in Paris, open until November 30.
Get to know more about the brain behind the art—Creuzet talked to L'Officiel about success, artistic expression, and individualism.
At 32, you're one of the most successful young artists. What balance do you draw from your time in practice, so short but intense?
It seems to me that this age-related classification is a European craze. If we look at the American, South African and Asian scene, the question of time does not arise in these terms. One connects to another reality: that of a professional who does a job in the field he's chosen. This justification in terms of young or emerging artists is a question of cataloging, of snobbery. There are two elements that coexist: being an artist and being a maker (installations, sculpture, video). Later, the idea of being more or less good intervenes. The essential thing to know is that others perceive depth in my path, and the elements succeed in projecting themselves, and they interact with the content and with the different forms.
Which artists, authors, and subjects are you inspired by?
This is a question that I generally don't answer. It belongs to an intimate area of myself, to an area of secrecy. I can, however, say that I have a great interest in music, so much so that, in the exhibition which closed in May at the Palais de Tokyo, I invited Grégory Privat, a virtuoso pianist. He plays jazz music but he's someone that has much more behind him: deep emotions, a way of embodying music that lies beyond a musical genre.
When did you become aware of the need for your artistic expression?
There are really gestures - drawn, engraved - that take place in an instant. And this implies that the gesture can be definitive or superfluous. For example, performance implies a period of listening that corresponds to the time in which one is paying attention to a certain situation, to one's own interactions with others: there, in fact, there can reside a "decisive moment." Apart from this, in my work, I believe I conceive of time as if it were life, and my life is the whole of my work.
In your work, you use a lot of plastic arts, video, performance, and poetry. How do you articulate your language through these things?
It is imagination, individualism, the times, the stories that have passed through me, my relationship with the world and with others, my attention, my listening, the way I can feed on others, of music, but also of cinema, of literature. It is a set of experiences. The further I go, the more this global experience is ready to be shaped by a variety of forms.
If the Caribbean does not have a significant influence on your work, what do you respond to the interpreters who place your path in an expression of post-colonialism?
One of the fundamental questions is how can I be aware of a past, a story, and how can I exist today without pointing the finger at others. The real questions are summarized in one: "How will we live together?"
Photography Spela Kasal
Grooming Yoana TG