"Let’s not leave the world in the hands of specialists.” This is a declaration closely adhered to by Julien Berthier as he constructs objects that are hyperrealist yet clearly fictional, and confronts them with public space. The artist instils a permanent sense of ambiguity in the works of art and situations that he produces. He puts forward plausible objects (which could very well exist in the world we live in) together with a critique of them. Far from attempting to improve the world, the artist uses irony, feigning ignorance to raise questions as a means of encouraging broader reflection on our society.
Julien Berthier works may “modify social life, help improve it, revealing it conventions, the unseen or repressed aspects, [which] amounts to the saying of the same things (as any citizen concerned by public life in a democratic environment) and differently (using artistic resources likely to attract closer, more specific attention that that permitted by the language of art, a social language). It is a matter of making the language of art an integrated language, capable of being heard, and a dissonant language, i.e. one that challenges prevailing views.”
(Paul Ardenne, in L’art contextuel, 2004).
Photo © Lene Tufteland