interrogative 1996 h.26cm
scent marbre (detail)

The sculptor’s fingers –as well as his eyes full of a daring cheerfulness- may sometimes be unable to resist the desire to provide with a beautiful and clear shape Woman’s private parts –all shadows and night- with the opening mouth of the vulva, the valley of all wonders, so decisively concealed though seduction-bearing and happiness-bringing. Such a sculptor would by no means want to expose Woman’s private parts, as in Courbet’s painting “The Origin of the World”, or to do away with them, as in classical statuary, or to reduce them to their most abstract representation, as in sketching and graphs. And so, it is for him to invent, to diversify, to play on the infinite possibilities and virtues of sculpture, in order to bring these Heaven’s Gates to light in an allusive and elliptical way, in an evocative and suggesting way that allows them to be seen without any showing off on the sculptor’s part. Since these parts remain out of reach even though they offer themselves, since they require a guess and yet the cracking of their enigma remains ever-eluding, no beautiful and clear shape of them should brutally uncover them. A matter of posture : when, millions of years ago, Man got upright, the female sex could not be seen any more. Then, gradually, veils and finery worked their seduction, and remarkably, it was not so much in order to cover up human nakedness as in order to stress all that could not be seen in women’s nakedness. In my view, it is where Courbet and the contemporary title “Bas les voiles !”, i.e. “Veils off !”, –when understood narrowly as a sheer imperious slogan- may be wrong. As a matter of fact, amid all the share of mystery, and I mean deep, thorough and happy mystery, that ever came our way, the notion of woman as related to both keen desire and hidden presence seems to have steered mankind since its infancy and to prevail in the origin of every human being. Whence I decided to take up that issue as the key challenge of all my art.

(Translated by Michèle Bustros)