Gerenton’s work of recent years consists of anthropomorphic, organic and chemical figures that seem to have grown into what one might call an ecosystem. There is a a hidden narrative to this vast vocabulary of shapes. A narrative within an ecosystem where the human species has long since ceased to be a defining factor. In Hadrien’s world, nature has regained territory, slowly removing the scars of its painful human history. Gerenton seems to utilize strategies from Surrealism, to seemingly deal with phenomena discussed in the writings of ecological and ontological writers such as Graham Harman, Timothy Morton and Donna Haraway. In her text on the work of Gerenton, the french art critic Ingrid Luquet-Gad (ARTFORUM / Flash Art / Cura) put Gerenton’s work in direct connection to the global climate crisis:
Hadrien Gérenton’s sculptures embody the advent of a new materiality, as in a post-human nature, in which any original purity is no more than a vague mythological tale. Whether they are cacti, moulded in a mix of varied materials standing up like hybrid people, or platforms, between sculpture and display, reenacting an unchanged domesticity, the modernist heritage is tainted with the confusion that can exist between reigns. An alloy as a result from voluntarily not fully mastered process, each sculpture is radically unique, each owns a kind of knowledge that is no longer universal but located. Thus, just like sensitive chemical fossils, the works recreate our own overwhelmed ecosystem, where nature and culture have merged to compose a mutant panoramic view.
- Ingrid Luquet-Gad (translated from French)
For the booth at Art Rotterdam 2023, Gerenton plans to present different media; watercolors, sculptures in the midst of an installation reminding an urban architecture made of metal pipes and connections. The architecture-like environment of the booth is a thread that unites the different works as if they are in need of a human environment/ atmosphere to fully exist. The sculptures, more or less figurative (lizards, cacti,..) would be a statement for the narrative, where any viewers could wander around the improbable vegetalized and animalized ecosystem. The watercolors act as something more intimate and less direct, like a pause in this uncanny garden. They would act as scenes disconnected from a rational world and be a gate to unknown projections and possibilities.