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A hybrid identity, the duo mountaincutters mainly practices in-situ sculpture, radically contaminating the space of the places where he/she exhibits. Echoing this troubled identity is an aesthetic uncertainty, which favours transitory situations and unfinished forms for a priori fortuitous compositions, with a wild beauty.

Corrupted materials and soiled objects, dust and rust invading surfaces and floors, broken concrete, coarse ceramics, water in a continuous circuit, mountaincutters' installations are traces of improbable activities, suspended between construction and destruction, architecture and archaeology, sometimes resembling an abandoned building site.

A raw character, not to say brutal, whose "formlessness" raises a share of doubt. Arranged (or rather disturbed) like a carpet under the dust. This manifest aridity, a chaotic arte povera tendency, does not mask the rigour and precision of discreetly theatrical compositions, which always imply an activity "en creux". In fact, everything here resonates with an absent body, of which the sculptures presented are prostheses, rudimentary and insufficient appendages frozen in a functional logic whose purpose escapes us.

And if it were a theatre scene, it would be that of tragedy, or more precisely of its resurgence in the industrial era, minus the fever, the industrial age, but with the distancing. In fact, mountaincutters' sculptural practice has something literary about it. It is accompanied by a parallel work of writing, a raw poetry written in the first person, which opens an organic counterpart to the material structures, between programme and potential commentary on what might happen in the space. Sometimes it is the presence of images that initiates the beginnings of a narrative. From then on, it is an unfathomable mystery that emerges from this "work", which is understood here in the double etymological sense of work and opera, i.e. linked to the pain, to the modification of bodies, but also to the enigma of creation.

Guillaume Désanges

The duo mountaincutters (1990, Marseille) graduated from the Ecole Supérieure d'Arts et de Design Marseille Méditerranée. Their work has been presented in numerous group exhibitions in Belgium, France and internationally. In 2021, their work was the subject of an exhibition at La Verrière-Fondation d'entreprise Hermès curated by Guillaume Désanges. In 2023, a solo exhibition was dedicated to them at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.


Incomplete Venus (Vénus Impudique) - Detail
Incomplete Venus (Vénus Impudique)
Incomplete Venus (Willendörf) - Detail
Heures teintées (myéline)
programme poétique

Gallery exhibitions


Morphologies souterraines
Palais de Tokyo, Paris (France)
mais, la présence aux mondes
Horst Arts & Music Festival (Belgium)
Ctrl c respiration
Centre d'Art Neuchatel (Swizterland)
Les indices de la respiration primitive
La Verrière - Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès, Brussels (Belgium)
Anatomie d’un corps absent
Creux de l'enfer, Thiers (France)
Le Grand Café - centre d'art contemporain, Saint-Nazaire (France)
Incomplete Venuses, detours and functions
Middelheim Museum, Antwerp (Belgium)