• Charles Mason

    Exit Wounds, 2011
    Digital print on paper
    47 x 66 cm encadré : 55,5 x 75 cm
    Edition of 3 + 2 AP
    Frac Aquitaine
    Charles Mason
  • Charles Mason

    Rocks, 2011
    Concrete, wood, white ceramic tiles
    8 x 32 x 28 cm
    unique artwork
    Charles Mason
  • Charles Mason

    Stay, 2011
    Concrete, brick, wood
    87 x 76 x 60 cm
    unique artwork
    Charles Mason / Jeremie Bucholtz
    Cortex Athletico
    Charles Mason
  • Charles Mason

    Rocker, 2011
    Carved and burnt Bamboo chair, foam rubber, Perspex
    127 x 63 x 50 cm
    unique artwork
    Charles Mason
  • Charles Mason

    Hung Up II, 2011
    Concrete, white ceramic tiles
    180 x 16 x 44 cm (hauteur du sol : 210 cm)
    unique artwork
    Charles Mason
  • Charles Mason

    Loving you forever, 2011
    Foam rubber, bamboo, chain
    unique artwork
    Charles Mason
  • Charles Mason

    Happy or Sad, 2011
    Steel, concrete, Perspex
    144 x 138 x 290 cm
    unique artwork
    Charles Mason
  • Charles Mason

    Dummy II, 2010-2011
    Perspex, concrete, galvanised steel and ceramic tiles
    203 x 102 x 207 cm
    unique artwork
    Charles Mason
  • Charles Mason

    Crutch, 2010
    Bronze
    87 x 53 x 56 cm
    Edition of 6 + 1 AP
    Charles Mason / Jeremie Bucholtz
    Cortex Athletico / De Facto
    Charles Mason
  • Charles Mason

    Backsliding, 2010
    Perspex, concrete, galvanised steel and rubber
    203 x 430 x 500 cm
    unique artwork
    Charles Mason
    Charles Mason
  • Charles Mason

    Stepping Lightly, 2010
    Perspex, béton, acier, céramique, caoutchouc
    dimensions variables
    unique artwork
    Charles Mason / Jeremie Bucholtz
    Cortex Athletico / De Facto
    Charles Mason
  • Charles Mason

    Rock, 2009
    Concrete, rubber, full spectrum lamp and electrical fittings
    130 x 80 x 227 cm
    unique artwork
    Charles Mason
  • Charles Mason

    Untitled 9, 2009
    Pencil and painting on paper
    30 x 42 cm
    unique artwork
    Charles Mason
  • Charles Mason

    Wall drawing (camera della morte), 2009
    pencil on white painted wall
    dimensions variables
    unique artwork
    Charles Mason
  • Charles Mason

    Sans titre 3, 2009
    air brush
    32 x 42 cm
    unique artwork
    Charles Mason
  • Charles Mason

    Untitled, 2009
    airbrush
    32 x 42 cm
    unique artwork
    Charles Mason
  • Charles Mason

    Strung Out, 2008
    Chair backs , scaffold clamps
    112 x 40 x 40 cm
    unique artwork
    Charles Mason
  • Charles Mason

    Untitled (ceramic table), 2008
    black ceramic tiles, painted steel, concrete
    81 x 91 x 165 cm
    unique artwork
    Frac Alsace
    Charles Mason
  • Charles Mason

    Untitled (hoops), 2008
    concrete, steel, black ceramic tiles
    H: 120 cm installation variable
    unique artwork
    Charles Mason
  • Charles Mason

    Between you and me, 2008
    Concrete, black ceramic tiles, aluminium and steel tube, clamps, perspex, rubber
    120 x 240 x 146 cm
    unique artwork
    Charles Mason
  • Charles Mason

    In the loop, 2008
    concrete, galvanized steel tube, clamps, perspex, rubber
    129 x 290 x 228 cm
    unique artwork
    Charles Mason
  • Charles Mason

    Untitled (Italian Verde marble mosaic, concrete, porcelain floor tiles), 2008
    Italian Verde Alpi marble mosaic, concrete, porcelain floor tiles
    62 x 200 x 120 cm
    unique artwork
    Charles Mason
  • Charles Mason

    Wall Drawing, 2008
    Digital photographic print on paper
    154 x 174 cm
    unique artwork
    Cortex Athletico
    Charles Mason
  • Charles Mason

    Brace, 2007
    Parts of two wood chair backs, scaffold clamps
    68 X 48 X 89 cm
    unique artwork
    Charles Mason
  • Charles Mason

    Cradle (Them and us), 2005
    Tape, galvanized metallic pipes
    96 X 123 X 67 cm
    unique artwork
    Charles Mason
  • Charles Mason

    No. 4 (Them and us), 2004
    ruuber, cardboard
    about 50 cm3
    unique artwork
    Charles Mason
  • Charles Mason

    Untitled (Picnic table) version 1, 2001-2002
    Galvanized metal pipes
    74 X 155 X 105 cm
    unique artwork
    Charles Mason

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Biography

Love Theory in Suspension


Equilibrium is less a question of gravity and weight, than a question of balance. Instead of weight relative tomass, balance is the result of a smooth collusion of strengths and expectations experienced through friction or of shock felt during any encounter. Charles Mason's Between you and me (2008) is not just the reflection of a spectator incapable of reaching the other side of the mirror, but at once the representation and the object of that representation prevented by a reflection of oneself - of one's ego perhaps - in the endless black mirror of a transparent screen of Perspex. It is above all a power struggle, a game of exchange and balance that structures all organisations and all relationships.

So let us formulate the hypothesis that Charles Mason's sculptures are for the most part compositions emancipated from formlism and charged with poetics of affect. If we attribute feelings and psychologies to these objects, they become an image of a group or a position, united, inseparable - inseparable because united, a societal organisation and a relational space. Balance in this sense is the sine qua none of equilibrium, based on notions of weight and counterweight, of rivalry and negociation, of vision, tensions and flexibilities, of equivalent and mutual exchanges.

The latest groups of Charles Mason's sculptures are fixed structures all about balance. Skeletal and muscular systems based on a strict organisation, they are architecture-worlds and balancing acts, where a black, shiny translucent screen support itself on metal struts countering "The Thing", a concrete and serpentine shape, sometimes covered totally or patially with porcelain scales. The physically answer the problematic of equilibrium, weightlessness with mutual support - theirs is a chic aesthetic posture. They are the encounter of textural antinomies, through contact and collage : the metal plays against the mirror effect of the Perspex, which plays against the concrete, which in turn plays against the mosaic. The meeting points are solid and secure, for should one component slip the whole edifice collapses. Doubtless from this springs "the anxiety" that Mason uses in the title for two of his exhibitions in 2009 and 2010.

In this way, Crutch (2010), a chair back, slightly magnified, moulded in polished bronze, resting in a corner gives the impression of a strange awkward object, disproportionate and amputated, unusable. Materially supercharged in bronze, but immediately put aside, the object is the proscription of a sick shape, worried, isolated form - unlike the other works which are frozen in their own combination systems - for Crutch - there is nothing for it to really worry unduly over.

In his essay Peri Bathous, the Art of Sinking in Poetry (1727), Alexander Pope coined the word Bathos to describe a fall from the sublime to the ridiculous that produces moments of (unintentional) comedy in would-be solemn poems. The bathetic style, Pope suggested, is distinguished from the true sublime by an absurd combination of antinomies making verse a form of stupidity. The meaning of the term bathos has noticeably shifted ; it is now sometimes used to describe something that is so pathetic and poignant that it becomes comic - to the point where the solmnity whithin a bathetic production becomes "a seriousness that fails". Such is the condition that afflicts Crutch. Here the chair back that usually supports its user is confined to a corner of the exhibition space and is able to stand thanks only to the kindness of a stranger, the wall : an embarrassing situation for an object that resembles a crutch. In Dummy (2010), the shapeless "Thing" poses in front of its own reflection, maintaining its upright posture due only to a perfectly equal "rapport de force" ; it remains a narcissistic structure, performing open-mouthed, stupefied by its own image. In holding such a balanced posture of elegance it could be an allegorical architectural representation of a love relationship, or the Dandy in the story who placed a mirror in front of his bed to have the pleasure of watching himself sleep. The optical effect of the three panels deployed in Backsliding (2010) is of a folding screen hiding nothing, showing everything (and more) through a kaleidoscopic effect of multiple reflections. When the spectator's body does not interfere, two twin "Things" are mirrored, rather like Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles in the mirrored corridor of the Lady from Shanghai. The "Thing" and we, its spectators are creatures caught in a trap, living in a world of images, of forms and reflections on the border of day - dreams.
«Camp taste doesn't propose that it is in bad taste to be serious», writes Susan Sontag, «It doesn't sneer at someone who succeeds in being seriously dramatic. What it does is to find the success in certain passionates failures». Mason's work is a game of improbable balances, maintained with an almost comic dignity, often absurd, and couloured with humour and irony. This shapeless, feminine "Thing" dressed as if for a night of clubbing on the town, is suspended, transfixed by its own reflection, balancing in unnatural positions like an acrobatic tight-rope walker in a cricus, producing a sculptural group at the crossroads of formalism, architecture and pole-dancing.


Marie Canet