Julien Creuzet, a young sculptor whose star is on the rise, will represent France at the 2024 Venice Biennale.
It’s the second national pavilion announced for the forthcoming edition of the world’s biggest art festival, whose 2022 edition just closed. Earlier this week, Estonia revealed that Edith Karlson would create its pavilion.
Creuzet often produces tangles of metal, plastic, and rope that are paired with lengthy titles alluding to migrations that have taken place in the Caribbean. He often finds the materials he enlists, and they recall refuse that washes ashore.
Born in Le Blanc Mesnil, France, Creuzet was raised in Martinique, and describes his work as an attempt to wrestle with the complexities of his French-Caribbean identity. He is currently based in Montreuil, a suburb of Paris.
Never before has the French Pavilion been represented by a French-Caribbean artist. His pavilion succeeds Zineb Sedira’s 2022 edition, which received a special mention from the Venice Biennale jury; she is the first artist of Algerian descent to represent France.
Taken together, the two pavilions signal a new direction for the French Pavilion, one of the most widely seen national exhibitions at the Biennale. Almost always, that pavilion has been represented by white artists.
The selection committee for the French Pavilion said of Creuzet in a statement, “His singular work and his gift for oral literature feed on creolization by bringing together a diversity of materials, stories, shapes and gestures. The questions raised by his works will find, at the French Pavilion in Venice, a particularly important resonance with those of our time. Julien Creuzet was also chosen for the horizons he draws, going beyond the opposition between identity and universality, demonstrating that in the folding of art, the poetic and artistic echoes always trace responses that are as beautiful, joyful and restorative as they are unexpected.”
Creuzet is on a hot streak, having recently won the $20,000 Étant Donnés Prize, which is given to a French artist exhibiting at Art Basel Miami Beach. In 2021 Creuzet was nominated for the Prix Marcel Duchamp, France’s top art award.