Friday, July 19, 2013

"Le Bain se Meurt"

“Le Bain se Meurt”  (The Dying Bath)

     Many years ago, I remember seeing an ancient, frail man, being helped into the shallow end of the pool by an assistant. The extreme delicacy of his health gently wrapped around his skeletal frame, and the deliberate slowness in which he was lowered into the water, was the essence of grace. Hi pale skin soaked up the bright sunlight from the glass walls, and a smile came over his face as the water displaced gravity. This image remains in my head. I made a multi-colored clay sculpture based on the old man for an exhibit in Real Life, then recently, photographed my sculpture to bring into Second Life. I also included other scenes that I've sculpted and painted over the years, including a clay town which I portray as human culture burning itself into the soil. Having been one of the artists invited to display at the Galerie des Machines in Paris 1900, I felt this theme would work well for the large room I was offered.  

     The man being dipped into the water takes on a secondary related story for my installation. The idea of one’s life coming close to the end is symbolized with the bath. The water is not pristine and clean, it is acidic, glowing unnaturally, and is contained within polluted walls.  The bath here represents our dying oceans, the fragile state of the man is the weakening life in the seas. The room is flooded with light. The smoggy air is hot to breath, and we see two centaur angels ready to carry the dead to the next world. At its last breath, each angel will be followed by their armies to carry the dead planet to its burial ground: the sun.

     “Le Bain se Meurt” is on display at the Galerie des Machines.


     My installation is part of a large group display of artwork at the Galerie. It is a grand turn-of-the-century structure filled with artworks that I greatly enjoyed exploring. 


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