Valentin Carron, «KUPFER, SIGNAL, TRAFFICO», 2018

Valentin Carron, «KUPFER, SIGNAL, TRAFFICO», 2018, Raiffeisen Banking Hall St.Gallen, The tower rises into the light well. Foto: Jerry Gross, St.Gallen

Valentin Carron, «KUPFER, SIGNAL, TRAFFICO», 2018, Raiffeisen Banking Hall St.Gallen, The tower rises into the light well. Foto: Jerry Gross, St.Gallen

Valentin Carron, «KUPFER, SIGNAL, TRAFFICO», 2018, Raiffeisen Banking Hall St.Gallen, Raiffeisen Bankhalle St.Gallen, Close-up. Foto: Jerry Gross, St.Gallen

Valentin Carron, «KUPFER, SIGNAL, TRAFFICO», 2018, Raiffeisen Banking Hall St.Gallen, Raiffeisen Bankhalle St.Gallen, Close-up. Foto: Jerry Gross, St.Gallen

Valentin Carron, «KUPFER, SIGNAL, TRAFFICO», 2018, Raiffeisen Banking Hall St.Gallen, Valentin Carron spraying on the colour "Traffico" in the Kunstgiesserei workshop in St.Gallen. Foto: Jerry Gross, St.Gallen

Valentin Carron, «KUPFER, SIGNAL, TRAFFICO», 2018, Raiffeisen Banking Hall St.Gallen, Valentin Carron spraying on the colour "Traffico" in the Kunstgiesserei workshop in St.Gallen. Foto: Jerry Gross, St.Gallen

Valentin Carron, «KUPFER, SIGNAL, TRAFFICO», 2018, Raiffeisen Banking Hall St.Gallen, Space-saving stacking of the crates, mirroring that seen in agriculture. Foto: Jerry Gross, St.Gallen

Valentin Carron, «KUPFER, SIGNAL, TRAFFICO», 2018, Raiffeisen Banking Hall St.Gallen, Space-saving stacking of the crates, mirroring that seen in agriculture. Foto: Jerry Gross, St.Gallen

Valentin Carron, «KUPFER, SIGNAL, TRAFFICO», 2018, Raiffeisen Banking Hall St.Gallen, Attaching the next threaded rods in double nuts. Foto: Jerry Gross, St.Gallen

Valentin Carron, «KUPFER, SIGNAL, TRAFFICO», 2018, Raiffeisen Banking Hall St.Gallen, Attaching the next threaded rods in double nuts. Foto: Jerry Gross, St.Gallen

Valentin Carron, «KUPFER, SIGNAL, TRAFFICO», 2018, Raiffeisen Banking Hall St.Gallen, The tower is finished just below the third level. Foto: Stefan Inauen, Kunstgiesserei St.Gallen AG

Valentin Carron, «KUPFER, SIGNAL, TRAFFICO», 2018, Raiffeisen Banking Hall St.Gallen, The tower is finished just below the third level. Foto: Stefan Inauen, Kunstgiesserei St.Gallen AG

Valentin Carron, «KUPFER, SIGNAL, TRAFFICO», 2018

Public Art

Sixty-six crates — the minimalist sculpture by the Valais-born artist combines Raiffeisen's rural roots with the future of banking. The prototypes are being shown in the Unlimited sector at Art Basel 2019. 

Crates are piled on top of one another in the banking hall of Raiffeisen bank in St. Gallen, forming a precariously tall tower. They rise above the two-storey hall, just below the ceiling of the third floor, into the light well, which provides all five levels with natural light. Here the daring construction comes to an abrupt stop. “Economic reality came into play here," explained the artist Valentin Carron. “After 66 crates, the budget for the artwork was exhausted." 

Crates for the modular construction 
Valentin Carron drew inspiration from the large crate stores used to hold the fruit produced in the area surrounding his home in Martigny. Between harvests, the crates stand like temporary structures in the field. As part of youth culture, crates can sometimes be found in indoor spaces, combined with Euro pallets to form building blocks for interior design. 

Real or unreal? 
Valentin Carron's crates aren't made of wood. Each crate is actually constructed from 22kg of aluminium. It is the paintwork that perfects this deception. The colours used also give the work its name. The combination of "copper” brown, "signal” brown, and "traffic” grey wasn't the result of lengthy artistic deliberation on colour values; rather, it was decided upon by clicking through the standard Pantone colour combinations, which the US company proposes on the internet via its internationally established colour system. Copper, the material used for the lowest denominations in the monetary system, determined the selection of the colour combination, thanks to its connection to the world of banking. 

A 14.08-metre risk 
The perfectly static installation enables the ostensibly amateurish alignment of the stacked elements to provide an air of risk to the bank's perfect interior. Despite its lofty height, the tower of crates nonetheless appears small, losing itself inside the light well that extends to the top of the building. Made of repeating elements, the unpretentious sculpture can be interpreted, thanks to its global aesthetic and series of connected containers, both as a depiction of the sleek technology 4.0 of the banking business as well as a depiction of the modest beginnings of Raiffeisen as a cooperative bank. 

Under the project name "la colonne de caisses à pommes", KUPFER, SIGNAL, TRAFFICO won the art in architecture competition launched by Raiffeisen in 2017. The work was realised with the help of the Kunstgiesserei workshop in St.Gallen.

Date 
2018
Object dimensions 
1408 x 60 x 40 cm
Work location 
Vadianstrasse 17
9000 St. Gallen
Switzerland
Artist(s)
Valentin Carron
Author(s)
Donata Gianesi

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