Ronny Van De Velde
Employing a wide range of materials such as plaster, molten bronze, aluminum, cast glass, neon light, plants, photography, and video projection, Michel François creates environments of strange resonance, spaces of contemplation which unsettle relationships between natural and synthetic objects. In a manner similar to that of the Arte Povera artists, François transforms seemingly uncomplicated objects and materials, or traces of past events, into deeply resonant carriers of meaning. His work can be seen as an exploration of cause and effect, and the ways in which simple gestures can change the status of an object or have important consequences. Without immediately revealing their origins or the way they were made, his sculptures invite the viewer to consider the degree to which the hand of the artist, or chance, played a role in their formation. For example, his lace-like bronze wall sculptures, as seen in Instant Gratification, are the result of the thermic shock provoked by pouring molten bronze onto a cold floor. His work has been included in numerous important exhibitions such as Documenta IX (1992), the São Paolo Biennial XXII (1994), the 48th Venice Biennial (1999) and Sonsbeek 2008, and amongst other collaborations, he has often designed sets for the eminent choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker.