Theatrum Doloris

Theatrum Doloris is a serie of tall sculptures made with fake stone and draped satins inspired by great funerals from 17th and 18th centuries. Theatrum Doloris refers to these funeral decorations which sheltered the catafalque, this platform where lies the departed. The sculptures are installed at the exact place where used to stand the ancient chapel, now destroyed.

Here is again a romantic gesture: the sculpture are like ruins of a missing architecture, between past and present, between an old time and Modernity — which left a lot of ghosts behind. In a way, these pieces are a continuation of a previous work named Untitled Romantic Stone and also refer to minimal art and his hidden theatricality.

Everywhere in the courtyard were set fresh flowers — of autumn, the season of the deads. At night, people discovering the exhibition were allowed to take the flowers and compose with them in the space. They finished the display by an offering gesture, even if it was planned — here is an essence of theater and ritual. The sculptures delimited a central space: like on a stage or at a mausoleum, the viewers were free to walk around and finally they were performing, thanks to simple, essential actions such as walking in and out and moving flowers, just as they were part of a show or of a rite.

This project was also made possible thanks to iconographical resarch made at Forney, art specialised parisian library and former religious residence.

— Theatrum Doloris. Romantic Units (4 pièces).
Mixed media (wood, roughcast, fabrics). 260x260xH350cm. 2018.

— Theatrum Doloris. Variations autour d’un escalier (3 pièces).
Mixed media (wood, roughcast). Variable Dimensions. 2018.

Theatrum Doloris. A burning stage.
In Nuit Blanche 2018, Constellation Ile Saint Louis.
From 05.10.18 to 07.10.18 @ Bibliothèque Forney, Paris.
Curator : Gaël Charbau.
Photos : Damien Arlettaz, Hugo L’ahelec, Romain Poivey.