This installation of 18 large vases represents 18 human bodies, each with the exact quantity of water contained in a body. Some smaller vessels are filled with colored water (blood red, urine yellow, brown) showing the other fluids in our body. And the water is set in motion, drop by drop, by capillary action through the red ribbons.
This very beautiful installation created for this exhibition, well sums up the work of Laurence Dervaux, to celebrate both the fragility and the beauty of the human body.
The BPS22 had already presented in 2020 the large piece by Laurence Dervaux that the museum had acquired: 4000 liters of red liquid symbolizing blood, placed in 750 containers of various shapes, it is the blood which passes through our heart in an hour and a half , it was already our fragility exposed but also the red of anger.
The works of Laurence Dervaux turn our bodies inside out like we would turn a glove. They highlight the rawness of our flesh and viscera organs, of our functioning. They are contemporary vanities showing that life is close to death. But each time Laurence Dervaux makes these body parts, this machine within us which makes us live, objects and installations of pure beauty.
We find these reflections when seeing a second installation in the strong light of the Grande Halle. Twenty-six glass drops (like tears) filled with blood-red liquid appear to fall from the sky, held by strips of red fabric like bandages. Each “drop” contains the amount of blood in an adult or child human body. The installation has, once again, a great plastic beauty while showing that life hangs by a thread.
Laurence Dervaux’s work is a tribute to the secret beauty hidden in humans, as in nature. To the metamorphoses of life. A suffering but soothing beauty, which recalls the limits of man in his desperate attempts to detach himself from his carnal and mortal destiny.
She placed in front of this installation a series of human skulls covered with layers of earth of different hues like our skin colors. The more layers there are (up to 75 layers!), the more a human face appears. Until you arrive at an egg-shaped head, like a Brancusi.
Baudelaire spoke of his love “eternal and mute for beauty”. Laurence Dervaux finds it within our organs which she shows, reproduced in blown glass and exhibited on tables between which we wander: we recognize a red glass heart, a yellowish kidney, breasts filled with milk, glass intestines …
Laurence Dervaux also shows older works dating from 2002 to 2011 such as these large human-sized urns painted on glass plates and in which the visitor can see their reflection. Once again, she creates conceits inviting reflection on life and death.
The cycle of life she examines involves feeding her three large blocks of colored rice like minimal art, or a series of bowls in which she has allowed the soil to dry and crack.
For Pierre-Olivier Rollin, curator of the exhibition: “It is in the experience of contemplation that the work plays out, in the exacerbation of this moment of grace, of this unstable balance born from the meeting of birth and death, of light and shadow, beauty and anguish. ”
For her, titles are important. The one from the exhibition is: “We, eight billion humans minus twenty-seven, plus seventy, the time to read this title. ”
Laurence Dervaux, at BPS22, Charleroi, until January 7