Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Man Who Measures Clouds

And here he is. A work by the Belgian artist-playwright-stage director-sculptor-choreographer-designer Jan Fabre.

When in France (am I boring you with this trip yet?) we were given the warmest of welcomes by the owners of the Galerie Guy Pieters in St Paul-de-Vence, Levin and Dorathee De Buck.

In fact, they treated us to champagne, and let us wander amongst some of the most amazing sculptures in bronze I've yet to come across.

For instance, this is a sculpture which pays homage to Fabre's late brother who was a "dreamer". Fabre says "It expresses the feeling of planning the impossible, which is actually what the artist does".

"The ornithologist Robert Stroud has strongly influenced me. In the 'Birdman of Alcatraz', when he is finally released from prison, Stroud states: 'I am going to measure the clouds', with the full understanding that its an impossible mission."

Fabre is impressive. I read up on him when I got back. Did you know amongst his many accomplishments, he once covered the Tivoli Castle in Mechelen in paper and then scribbled all over it in blue ball-point pen?

Enough...let me show you some of his bronzes. They are stunning and immaculate and certainly reflect the artist's fixation with things that no longer have life. In fact I think Fabre is obsessed with all things deceased. Here is a man who is used to being surrounded by dead things.

The casting and skill in these pieces was remarkable. Look at this:



This is a full size sculpture/cast in bronze. The whole piece involves at least 7 bathtubs but only this one has the artist sitting in it fully clothed. And yes. Its real water in that bath. The sitting figure is meant to represent Fabre.













And how about this for cute (I'm sure Fabre would roll his eyes in disgust)..but using vertebrae
to represent little sea turtles marching across a sand of ground bones.



Now *this* is a sea turtle..........




















This has to be the biggest bronze turtle I am ever to see in my life. And I want to ride it? Its off to the stars in the outer atmosphere and thats where *I* want to be.





And here lies a bronze lamb on a sacrificial bed of ground-up human bones.

4 comments:

Spiderman said...

Hi Sue,
The journal continues - and have just realised that I can view your pics full size :-)Absolutely loved the stunningly huge turtle and Fabre in the bath. I am sure I would have looked at them for hours had I visited the museum. A little saddened by the lamb yet, as I've got lamb for Sunday dinner, I should stop being so sentimental! Thanks for all the info and research - I am learning everyday!

Lav. said...

yep this blog's just lovely it's nice to see people so interested in reporting about arts, places and experiences. it gives me the thrill of sharing.

I was wondering how old am I supposed to be to eventually do what I love and not what I am told to do as you say in your profile, as I am just 23 and it seems such a long way ahead!!

Lavinia.

SueC said...

Thank you both. Its always encouraging to get feedback, and yours is of the nicest kind.

Spiderman: surely its the poor humans that sleeping lamb is on that should be pitied? :-)

Lav: Enjoy your youth (I am a jealous old woman lol)and do what you love when you can. It'll just all fall into place one day - you'll see.:-)

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