A striking man walked into the sculpture studio at the San Francisco Art Institute where I was a student. His black velvet jacket stood out among the plaster casts, and his elegance was singular in the San Francisco of the 1970s. His name was Gerard Dupont, he had been a student of Michel Foucault in Paris. He wanted to pose like a sculpture and that’s how, in California, I began a series of photoworks of men and women in mythological poses suggestive of sculptures. Gerard in a niche, Jean Pierre as Bacchus… I think Gérard liked to imagine that he really was a sculpture.
When I moved to Paris, I began photographing and filming sculpture. This winter someone gave me carte blanche to do a show in an empty storefront facing the Luxembourg Gardens. At about the same time I came across Baudelaire's critique from the 1846 Salon "Why sculpture is boring". I decided to invite 5 young sculptors to disprove Baudelaire's critique. In "Against Baudelaire" I filmed some of the sculpture of the Luxembourg Gardens and combined them with my « mythological » portraits. The photographs are black and white and painted. I’ve removed most of the colour from the film.
The young artist/sculptor Nicolas Tubery made an 8 foot high corregated metal "silo" with an opening for a plexi screen on which this film was projected as a silent film, seen through the storefront window.
I then decided to make a sound version to be able to share it with you. The music of Camille was running through my mind as I filmed.
Elizabeth Lennard

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