Point of view


Fabien Chalon’s sculptures are generally qualified as “intimate sculptures”.

They enter into the process of the artist’s reflexion on his perception of each one’s living instant.  He imagines and conceives the “sculpture – events” that are never fixed or definite points as in classical sculptures, but constantly taken up by the movement of the process of the imagination.

Fabien Chalon’s sculptures show the idea that time is a narrow reality of the moment suspended between two nothingnesses.  Many people have said, after seeing one of his productions in movement:  “I’m coming back from far-away”.

So, over the years, Fabien Chalon has become an artist of the “intimate” and the “instant”.  By serving the poetical diversion of the object, he carries us to moments of disjunction, to sacred moments, to the ultimate point where reality dilutes into surprise and into the fantastic.

Most of these are of a human dimension in order to dialogue intimately with the spectators; others are of monumental dimensions.

His first expositions took place at the Beaubourg Gallery, and afterwards he was presented in France and in foreign countries by the Kamel Mennour Galery.

In 2008, the monumental sculpture “The Marching World”, a state public commission, was installed in Gare du Nord. This sculpture contributed immensely to make Fabien Chalon’s known by a large public.

In 2010, after having collaborated with an Austrian artist, Erwin Wurm, Fabien was chosen by Hermes for an association.  He was to conceive a travelling exposition that would go all over the world until the end of 2013.



Where does light go ?

“In Fabien Chalon’s studio there is a neon light whose tubes form—over a blue ground—a series of letters that undulate over a carpet of gold-tipped dead leaves; these letters make up a small phrase, followed by a question mark: “Où est-tu?” (“Where are you?”). The same question is uttered quite spontaneously over many a phone; it can be heard in the streets, the underground, everywhere; and quite naturally, Fabien Chalon’s neon light evokes—perhaps with some derision (as well as tragic gravity)—the simplicity of something that constitutes our humanity: a simple call.*

This phrase resonates with the words of the Creator in Genesis, when God addresses Adam thus: “Where are you?” He says this to him as he expels him from the Garden of Eden. “Where are you ?” meaning: do you still have a place in the domain of truth ? Do you exist essentially ?

The extraordinary melancholic suspension that we feel when viewing Fabien Chalon’s inventions—whether the neon lights that disrupt our solitude or the small theatre-machines that “repair” our memories—underlines the infinite nature of our exile, as well as the sheer immensity of human desires.

Fabien Chalon’s art always has a sense of destiny: the great melancholy that animates these poetic machines arises from fear, which is related less to death than the disruption of transmission. How can one’s dreams be conveyed? That is his focus and his passion, explored with patience. The answer lies undoubtedly in love.”

Yannick Haenel
Paris, April 2019