Disseminated in space, a new series “Bolders” in glazed stoneware, invites the public to sit down, take the time, observe the works to discover their hidden connections and dive into breathtaking details. Shimmering glass surfaces, textured patinas, metaphors and hidden meanings taking from urban culture’s “secret handshakes”.
With Johan Creten, the sins are not seven in number. Seven, this implacable number, the same as the Bible’s sacraments and Rome’s hills. Here, the sins are infinite and unlimited, inexhaustible. They are not numerable, but just designatable.
Sins are not all capital, they can be imperial, imperious, peripherical, insidious, insignificant, invisible. They are always below calculation and language.
The seven capital sins are little when compared with silliness, barbary, boredom, mutilation, regret, melancholy and terror, in short, with life. Thus, Johan Creten’s sculptures have nothing to do with moral or sanction, guillotine or censorship. They speak of sins, of life that merges desire and pain, hope and misery, luxury and anger, love and death, Eros and Thanatos.
They speak of amphibian life, between the Styx and Paradise. They speak of instinctive life, when hearts beat, when sneaks coil, when wings deploy, when vulvas gape, when the curtain moves and the naked truth emerges from it, at last, that hypnotic Medusa.
May sin not be, after all, the tired form of purity? Does it not point» to our condition of extremely fallible men? Is sin not, to quote Victor Hugo, a beautiful “gravitation”? [Colin Lemoine]