French, 20th – 21st century, male.
Born 1958, in Nice.
Sculptor, installation artist, performance artist.
Jérôme Basserode was awarded the Villa Médicis prize externally in 1988. The term 'sculpture' is inadequate to describe his work. The words 'energetic structure' and 'culture' should also be included. An heir to Arte Povera rather than Land Art, Basserode relates the natural world to the scientific world by means of unprecedented, erudite links. He summarises his concerns thus: 'It is the living that interests me.' Animate substances, lichens, yeasts, grasses, microorganisms and technical procedures, small engines, magnetism and ultrasound merge in works which are constantly mutating. Basserode is equally happy executing floor installations and pictures shown hanging on walls. The growth of lawns and other vegetable matter is seen as depending in part on electronic devices. The work is a receptacle for energy (mechanical, electrical, thermal, chemical), determining both its existence and its inevitable loss. The work is read as a stage, not as an intangible object. This introduction of time as an intrinsic property of the work challenges all discourse on the death of art. That art is alive is demonstrated, with reference to its immortal character, in a consecration of the ephemeral. This underlining of the fragility of the work and this detached irony are not the unique preserve of Basserode. One need only think of the artists of the Arte Povera group introducing natural elements which require constant maintenance. He also creates performances such as ...