Zurich

Valentin Carron

Galerie Eva Presenhuber | Maag Areal

“Rellik,” the title of young Swiss artist Valentin Carron’s debut, refers to the English word “relic” with its span of connotations, from disdained leftover to religious veneration. Reading it backward, however, it becomes “Killer.” Apparently, “Rellik” is also the nickname of the first graffiti tagger from Martigny, Carron’s hometown in western Switzerland. The pun is typical of Carron’s practice, which draws on symbols of cultural identity—always with an awareness of their complex (sub)cultural recoding. Carron comes from the canton of Valais, typically thought of as the most authentic, “wild,” and traditional part of Switzerland—though these traditions turn out to have been fabricated in the nineteenth century out of a need for national identity. Carron makes copies of symbolically charged objects, not only from his own culture but also from many others, always questioning the meaning

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