SUN KING LOUIS XIV BY BERNINI
NOTE ABOUT MY SCULPTURE:
Self-portrait of the Artist as the Sun King Louis XIV
by Bernini (1665, Château de Versailles), 2010
My self-portraits constitute my signature works since 2001. The conceptual protocol behind my photographs is invariable: always the same minimalist etiquette, same setting, same subject, same lighting, same framing... Thus, the same face is repeatedly portrayed but is never identical to itself. The more the figure is repeated, the more different it becomes.
For statuary, between minimalism and baroquism, my self-portraits are made from the molding of the original at the museum: I substitute my face and change color and material.
On the 5th of October 1665, the bust is presented to Louis XIV. The Sun King is conquered by Bernini’s marble, whose armor is inspired by a piece from the royal collection: the armor of Francis I, an Italian creation executed from the drawings of Jules Romain. (Here, the nails of the armor are replaced by cherry blossoms, an eminent Japanese symbol.)
On the back, the Guy Debord's latin palindrome (sentence with the same meaning when read from left to right or from right to left) can be translated as: “We wander in the night and we are consumed by fire.” What leaves, let’s say, not much hope. This inscription, a riddle hidden on the back of the bust, signifies that the work is together a détournement (hijacking, developed by Debord) and, likely, a Vanity: vanity of power, beauty and art itself.
Catalogue On a Pedestal, 2018.
Dublin Castle & Castletown House, Dublin, Ireland.