Nicolas Noverraz CH

The urban landscape is a reflection of the people who live there; I intend to set it off to its best advantage.

My goal is to compel the spectator into taking a position with respect to the common conception of beauty. The contrast between the great technical care that I strive to bring to my work and the unsightliness or social insensitivity of my subject is intended to foster critical thinking. In turn this may allow us to separate ourselves from the common codes and standards of the perception of beauty dictated by society.

« Art Pollution » consists of permanently affixing the pollution produced by human activity on to canvas; exhaust fumes, engine oil residue from our vehicles, waste left on roads, as well as organic and random pollutants, like rain, inclement weather and any damage for which we have no control.

The process:

The canvases are covered with floor coatings; the markings are then coated with road-marking materials using the same stencils used to mark our highways. Using the same stencils, the same scale, the same coatings applied by the same workers, the canvases are converted into a reflection of the bitumen lump we walk on every day. When ready, they are left on the road for a few days, weeks or even a few months, while being exposed to the harsh, external environment of hydrocarbons and oil leaks created by traffic in addition to the wide variety of waste that we unintentionally leave behind on the roadways, like the contents of a spilled bottle or the chalk drawings of children. Over time, these harsh environmental elements leave their mark on the canvases. And so they absorb the same discharges as the roads of our cities. Ultimately, construction becomes destruction (cracks in the coating, partial erasure of the paint or even tears in the canvas).

The canvases can also be placed in specific locations intended for motor vehicles, like a garage or a gas station.

These prints represent the daily discharges on to our roads. And so, the daily pollution revealed by this approach becomes art. In the same spirit, I imagined a series of « painting barrels ». These canvases are created on a 1:1 scale; the dimensions and profile being identical to the original. Only their design differs. In fact these works were done to accentuate the confusion between a real object and the painted canvas. In doing so, the spectator is left skeptical, prompting a critical reflection on what is presented to him.

These are paintings or sculpture objects that are designed to be installed on the floor and not hung on a conventional wall mount. Like barrels stacked in warehouses, the « painting barrels » can also be stacked. The paintings represent all types of potential contamination, ranging from radioactivity and hazardous chemical products to the conventional fuels that supply the vehicles polluting the roads… or the “road paintings”.