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Not Vital


Not Vital, 2014
Sans titre
Papier fabriqué à la main au Bhoutan, 47.5 × 34 cm


A collection of works on paper consisting of posters, drawings and prints by artists, graphic designers and designers is kept at mudac. The Not Vital print, published by the Swiss Engraving Society (SGG), of which the museum has been a member since 2002, is one of them.

Born in 1948 in Engadine, Sent, Not Vital is an artist with a long career. From Switzerland to China, from Niger to New York via Italy, he accumulates experiences and encounters. Each culture brings him images and forms that will be as many sources for his sculptural, painted and drawn creations. His work is articulated around a repertoire of forms and symbols, borrowing from the animal world as well as architecture. This remains one of the artist's most emblematic concerns.

Not Vital is notably the inventor of what he himself calls the "scarch", an art combining sculpture and architecture. He began this practice in 2000 in Agadez, Niger, when he decided to acquire land on which he built in just a few weeks an earth tower, flanked by three stairs to watch the sunset. Other houses will follow on this property as well as all around the world: on an island on Lake General Carrera located on the border between Argentina and Chile, on the island of Florès in Indonesia, in the Philippines, in Mongolia and in the garden of his house in Sent where three huts were built, as a reminiscence of those he built as a child, during his summer holidays.

The materiality of the works he imagines is just as important as their form. Not Vital likes to work with bronze and marble but there are also gold and silver, aluminium and steel, as well as glass and paper. The print published by the SGG is thus to be directly linked to the discovery by the artist of the paper craftsmen of Bhutan. The artist's feat was to depict the image of a tower, using only the specificity of this paper made in this region, without using ink or any other marker. By pressure of the paper, the slender silhouette of a tower, similar to that of his sculpture Marble Tower (2009), is drawn in hollow in the thickness of the paper. Like a watermark, the image is revealed by playing with light and each copy is unique, the pressure exerted on the paper being variable.

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