STATEMENT : «Direct Sculptures» (2000)

« Direct Sculptures » are models of monuments. « Direct sculpture » is a critic of the monument. My critic of the « monument » comes from the fact that the idea of the monument is imposed from above. A monument is determined, produced and situated by decisions from above, by the power. And its’ forms correspond to the will to lead people to admire the monument and along with it the dominant ideology – whether it is the monument to Abraham Lincoln or Christopher Colombus, the monument to the memory of the first step on Moon or the commemoration wall in Washington D.C. of those who lost their lives in Vietnam. Something demagogic always remains in a monument. I want to fight against hierarchy, demagogy, this source of power. « Direct Sculptures », in contrast to « altars », « kiosks » and « monuments », are located in interiors, exhibition spaces. « Direct Sculptures » are in interiors because they are models. The « Direct Sculpture » is a physical result of a confrontation of two wills : the will that comes from below, the heart, and the will that comes from above, the power. One is the support, the other is the message. The two wills are condemned to exist together. They ensue confusion. Confusion is the meaning of the « Direct Sculpture ». « Direct Sculpture » has no signature, a « Direct Sculpture » is signed by the community, the color spray graffiti shows this. It is not a ready-made. It gives a shape to a new type of sculpture : I mean a three dimensional form coming from a two-dimensional thinking that lends itself to receive messages that have nothing to do with the purpose of the actual support. The message takes possession of the sculpture. The message appropriates the sculpture. The « Direct Sculpture » that I showed first was inspired by what happened in Paris at the spot of the car accident that killed Princess Diana : on this location a monument exists, that represents the flame of liberty. Because of the princess’ death, this monument which had been standing unnoticed for years, took on a new message. People started using this monument for their love messages to the Princess Diana, they transformed it. This transformation interests me, Lady Diana is of no interest to me. What counts for me, is that this sculpture is appropriated by its’ environment, signed, marked, changed, and no longer imposed by a force from above, but integrated, welcomed or not welcomed, confronted, by the heart, from below. There exist other monuments inspiring « Direct Sculpture » : in the old east section of Berlin, there is a very large sculpture in homage to Ernst Thälmann, co-founder of the German Communist Party. This monument is about 12 meters high, and the bottom part is totally covered by graffiti, inscriptions and signs added by the youngsters living in the buildings around. The sculpture belongs to them because of the painted interventions. It belongs to them by their graffiti, they appropriated it because it stands in their territory, they gave it a meaning. The sculpture now has a meaning, it became a monument that is just. I want to make monuments that are just. « Direct Sculptures » are models for just monuments.

I made five « Direct Sculptures » during 1999, the first one at the gallery Chantal Crousel in Paris, and « Sculpture Direct II,III,IV,V » at the gallery Erna Hécey in Luxemburg.

T.H. February 2000