Martin Monchicourt was born in Auch, France, in 1986 and now lives and works in Paris. He studied and practiced carpentry from 2002 to 2009. For the Arts, he studied at l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 2010 to June 2014 and graduated with honors. Martin has been a professor at l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture Paris Belleville since 2015.
"My work focuses on upgrading, standardization, and profitability; the craftsmanship of my pieces replicates an industrial appearance. Key inspirations for my work are the Schmidler S4 and the K2 are CNC machine tools, they are designed for operating on traditional wood frames and simulating artisanal production. The works I create are considered as potential prototypes for mass production and inspire industry, craft, and expertise. I take elements from everyday life and force them through a transformation, a movement. I use architectural codes, the same as in commercial construction, for the household mixing of private and public approaches to construction.
The objects, spaces, and situations that I create have a functional appearance, an anticipated function. They are actually non-productive, impractical. My sculptures, the installations, they constrain, they direct the visitor to become the body in space. One may grasp the meaning of my pieces with or without knowing construction."
"A carpenter by trade, I understand shape, building materials, and that building strong frames requires a rigorous approach. My concerns focus on the new implications my expertise has on my Art. Therefore, my skills are developing with a new perspective on the materials I use, and my approach attempts to transform the definition of the words profitable and functional. My work explores objects, how they work, and the different ways to use them. I “objectivize” all things concrete, material, and perceptible: objects, furniture, spaces, or devices that I isolate and appropriate. I question their function and utility in order to recreate them according to the principles of diversion, exaggeration, or even elimination. I am interested in the actions that generate these new objects. I try to generate an action from the viewer to fully integrate into the space so that they perceive the meaning of the work and its opposite."
[Translated from French, by BF and EPM]