Since the 1980s, Carmen Perrin has established herself as a sculptor. In the early 1990s, she began producing works that were closely concerned with architectural and landscape contexts. She is currently collaborating on projects in public spaces and is also experimenting with works that combine the practice of sculpture and drawing. The close link between the two practices is a central element in Carmen Perrin’s oeuvre, which focuses on the creation of tension. Carmen Perrin’s drawings are based on a process that is intrinsically linked to a technique, which is often repetitive and sometimes almost choreographed, in which the notion of physical and optical strength is omnipresent.
Highlighted by a graphical frame that defines each drawing’s constructive space, tension, associated with the use of colour, is the central theme in her latest works. In "Elles vont et viennent", 2019 and "S’encoublent", 2019 Carmen Perrin has sought to create reliefs in surfaces that are simultaneously opaque and translucent, and smooth and striped. The idea for these drawings came to her when she was making sketches for the creation of a door whose concrete structure, which is very thin at certain points, allows light to pass through. The concept of the passage of light led her to choose yellow pencil as a medium. These drawings are the product of studies associated with her observation of architecture and her interest in findings in contemporary physics and biology.
Continually experimenting with new techniques that enable her to create works that alter our sensorial perception, Carmen worked with a blue chalk line to create the work "CLAC", 2019. Via a brief and precise action of the hand, which creates tension between the blue chalk line and the sheet of paper, on which the former initially ‘explodes’ and subsequently leaves its mark, the drawing becomes almost as audible as it is visual.
In other works, the perception of a colour image is disrupted by a black geometric motif or a text drawn with a crayon, which acts as a filter. Carmen Perrin has also created an engraving for the exhibition, resuming a practice that she had experimented with during her studies at the Geneva School of Fine Arts. Etching enables her to experiment with the various stages of an image’s transformation as the acid bites into the surface. There are also works in t he exhibition in which tension is produced by perforation. Two of them were created using industrial targets that were assembled and perforated across their composition, in which a beige/skin colour was combined with the printed motif of a pistol target. In one work the target is fixed and in the other the target has shifted.
The "Entrepiches" series consists of the superimposition of perforated lenticular images, which reveal—within spaces hollowed out by cookie cutters—fragments of two coloured images that can be seen alternately as the viewer moves.
In "Tracé tourné" and "Tourné collé", drawings created with a pencil and warm glue were created on a circular plateau, guided by a motorised device, which turned at varying speeds via a pedal operated by the artist.
In each project the artist explores new plastic possibilities, whose basic principles arise from the necessity to renew the interactions between the body, the hand, the eye, and the material and the forces that affect them.
Carmen Perrin was born in La Paz in Bolivia, she lives and works in Geneva. In 1960, 7 years old then, her father Alberto decides to go into exile with his entire family in Switzerland where he comes from, from the paternal side. In the city of Calvin, Carmen Perrin completes all her education and her artistic studies. In 1981 she obtains her diploma at l’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Geneva and in 1986 she begins to teach at this institution. During the course of the same year, she participates in an exhibition at Musée Cantini in Marseille where she settles to live and work there for the next 8 years. In 1993 she obtains the scholarship Landys and Gyr which allows her to live and occupy a workshop during one year in London where she stays for 2 years. Currently she lives and works in Geneva and also occupies regularly a workshop in France. Since the 80s, Carmen Perrin has imposed herself as a plastic artist who realises sculptures.
Since the 90s, she begins to work in an increasingly close relationship within the architectural and landscape contexts. She seeks to realise works which articulate relations among light, materials, and architectural and social qualities of public space. In 2005 she decides to stop her practice of teaching to entirely devote herself to her artistic research. Currently she works on projects related to public space and carries out, in the workshop, research which closely articulates the practice of sculpture and of drawing. In 2014 she is nominated a member of the patron’s committee of the Romande Distinction of architecture 2014 (with Daniel Berset, federal counsellor, Philippe Biéler, central president of the Swiss Heritage and Werner Jeker, graphic designer).