Francis Raynaud’s production is informed by both theoretical and formal dimensions, and his sculptural approach is recurrently characterised by its metamorphic logic, which relies on this principle of permeation. Sponges, sugar, or butter come to mind – materials he often uses in the composition of his objects –, unstable elements whose shapeless prospect contaminates their surroundings with a jolt of randomness. There is a perpetual dynamics of indetermination in his way of making sculpture, and its critical purpose does not seem to be directed against the institution so much as at the viewer, who is invited to share in an intrusive and degenerative experience of matter. There is nothing coincidental about this correlation with the body’s metabolic functions in the work of an artist who was originally a trained cook; one may even wonder if the body, in his case, is not the ultimate medium of the work, like a sort of reverse form of body art. His exhibitions are not only directed at our senses, but also suggest an altered form of perception, embodied in repeated references to alcohol, which circulates at the surface of his works, as if it were meant to infiltrate the organs of the public/consumers. In this indistinct familiarity that links the works to the public, the changes in state exacerbate strange phenomena and bring about an impossible definition of the profound nature of things.
Excerpt from Frank Balland’s text Toujours trouble, about the exhibition La Mer vineuse at Passerelle, Centre d’art contemporain, Brest, 2016.