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Les Restes

Les Restes

Jean-Luc Parant
  • Artist (1944)

The French sculptor and poet Jean-Luc Parant, born in 1944 in Tunis, is the author of 100 or so books since 1973 (including Le Bout des Bordes, 2010; L’évasion du regard, 2009) and the founder, in 2002, of the Maison de l’art vivant (subtitled: Le Bout des Bordes, Le lieu des boules des yeux et des horloges d’amour). Since the late 1960s, when he named himself “a manufacturer of balls (boules) and texts about eyes”, his whole work has revolved around the sphere: he writes texts about eyes and sculpts balls. “The text came straight out of my head, the balls came out of my hands. If I make boules with my hands, I write texts about eyes with my head”, says the artist. He has made thousands of balls which he installs in exhibition venues, at the Fondation Maeght, at the Centre Georges Pompidou, at the City of Paris Museum of Modern Art, and in a very large number of art galleries and art centres in France and abroad. The balls were first made with terracotta in 1968, and would subsequently be designed based on a wired core covered with tow and coated with a wax-based matter. The balls, which are black, of every size, and very compact looking, invade places to saturation point, spreading over walls, where drawings and paintings amplify their presence. The works Sans titre and Les restes were devised for a FRAC Centre commission involving the figure of Pierre de Ronsard, in relation to the estate of the Prieuré Saint-Cosme in Indre-et-Loire. Balls made of sealing wax are placed in wooden boxes. The whole piece bears inscriptions dedicated to the five women loved by Jean-Luc Parant, whose first names are combined with the names of the parts of the artist’s body. The fragmented look of the work, the plurality of the media and the signs present try above all to respond to the spirit of Ronsard’s poetry, without seeking to illustrate it.

Nadine Labedade