torstai 3. kesäkuuta 2010

This one's for Louise Bourgeois

A few lines in honour of the original spider woman, sculptor extrodinaire, Ms. Louise Bourgeois, who passed away at the age of 98 on Monday 31 May.

Her life is connected to mine in two somewhat far-fetched ways. First, I have always been utterly intrigued by the spider sculptures she has left behind her around the world, like bizarre footsteps. During my short Ottawa period I used to walk under one many times (see picture below). She named her first spider, which was an ordered work for the opening of Tate Modern in 1999, Maman because it represented something she felt for her own mother. This delicate piece of information leaves me thinking.

There are millions of better pictures available online, but
I wanted to do the right thing and use my own archives.
Check out my  P. P. S. 

My second connection to her is that, being a French woman born in the early 20th century, Bourgeois was a contemporary and fellow Frenchwoman to Simone de Beauvoir, whose Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter I've just started to read. This far I have discovered, due to Ms. Bourgeois' sudden death and the flood of epigrams and articles that have consequently been published, that they both lived remarkably courageous, determined lives. 

The most important thing connecting the two artists is, in my opinion, that they both recognized and often articulated their awareness of the strong impact of early childhood on one's later actions. “Everything I do,” Louise Bourgeois has declared, “was inspired by my early life”, a life overshadowed by her mother's illness and her father's concurrent infidelity.

I'll probably come back to Ms. de Beauvoir once I've finished her memoirs; I dedicate this post to Ms. Louise Bourgeois and her amazing spider sculptures, and make a solemn vow to get to know her art better in the near future.

P. S. Maman is Tate Blog's "Work of the Week" this week, check it out here.

P. P. S. Surfed onto a travelogue with pictures of several Maman spiders around the world. I've stood next to the creatures in Havanna and Ottawa, gazing into where their eyes probably were...

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