Marteau sans maƮtre
Jean-Luc Vilmouth

Granite, earth, 800 x 300 x 63cm

Command of the Syndicat mixte "le Lac de Vassivière" (owner Syndicat mixte "le Lac de Vassivière") in 1985

Born in France in 1952, Jean-Luc Vilmouth lives and works in Paris in France.

When he defines his artistic activity, Jean-Luc Vilmouth qualifies it as “augmentation”. What interests him in this concept “is not to search for a new arithmetic of objects but rather to provoke an augmentation of the object: the same and another at the same time.” This augmentation is a transformation that confers a capacity and an importance on the object, which at first is only a ready-made

For Jean-Luc Vilmouth, the most banal and everyday object is worth investigating. A visual object like a hammer, taken from its context and placed in an unusual situation, implies a different perception, a different reading. The vision of this tool seems to us “worrisomely odd”. These displacements that provoke “sense sliding” are what Vilmouth’s work is all about. In 1979, Vilmouth had already shown a hammer that seemed only to have been used to dig out the cavity in which it lay useless; the cause was reabsorbed in its effect - the hammer offered itself without a master. 

On Vassivière Island he chose to present a hammer more than seven meters long and three meters wide, lying on the foliage. The head is made of three blocks of granite, while the handle is formed by a filling of earth which, like the surrounding field, is planted with grass. In Hammer without a master, Jean-Luc Vilmouth restricts himself to a very simple intervention that conserves the object’s identity while suggesting another approach to it. This tension between identity and alterity is materialized in two ways: mimetic augmentation of the model and its de-contextualization (which consists of setting it out right in the greenness of Vassivière Island). These two processes, performed together, lead us to all the perceptive and senso rial possibilities that such a piece can stimulate. Through this installation, the artist clearly explores the bipolar model-copy scheme - resemblance and dissemblance - and finally questions himself about the perception that such transfers can arouse. Deviated, augmented, presented, the hammer thus acquires more sense than its initial functional use.


Copyright: André Morin