Corentin Grossmann : Océanania, 2019
Océaniania, 2019, graphite, pastel and colored pencils on paper, 155 x 113 cm (61 x 44 1/2 in.)

Imagination is not to be opposed to reality.

The aquarium
When I was a kid we had an aquarium with a few guppies, a row of neon lights, a couple of shrimps and small spotted yellow fish that cleaned the windows with their big, silent lips.  I remember feeling embarrassed at the sight of the guppies defecating, since in the water it was like a little string that they were carrying around in their wake, until it became too long and broke.  While I was being taught cleanliness and modesty, it bothered me. Perhaps by some sort of childish intuition I saw that we were not so different and that our condition was finally quite similar, just without the giant face on the other side of the glass.

Océaniania left – among other things – these childhood memories, but as usual, my drawing work is an accumulation of perceptions and knowledge that I don’t organise in order to produce any kind of affirmative statement. This sounds like disengagement. Yet for me it is an essential way of approaching subjects, without trapping them in a discourse. I often get entangled when it comes to language.

… the heart of my research lies in exploration, notably by inviting doubt within the drawing.  By yielding a part of control to my unconscious to intuition and imagination, I introduce the possibility of letting myself be taken over by my work.

Corentin Grossmann

Imagination is a faculty of knowledge.