Some of Rodin Museum’s collections are currently exposed in an unusual and contemporary vision offered by a comparison between Rodin’s statues and Mapplethorpe’s photos.

It is an important artistic meeting of fifty sculptures and one-hundred and two from Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation of New York. Statues and photos seem to chase and to watch at each other, sometimes stealthily, questioning the viewer who cannot remain indifferent to the complex games of references explained or only suggested. Both the authors of the exhibition Mapplethorpe/Rodin were fascinated by the power of silhouettes and so now they are putting in parallels.

Mapplethorpe-Rodin, Paris, approaches, ph SaraRania

Mapplethorpe-Rodin, Paris, approaches, ph Sara Rania

The result is an involuntary dialogue in line with the laws of exposure light , in a set of seven core concepts and themes. A walk through the different techniques and instruments dominated by the vibration of the plaster both on skin and film. From the veils to the limbs we pass through the dance of the movement and tension and we can watch the performance of Assemblies and Compositions. Living the charm of the contrast between Black and White, we appreciate the comparison between eroticism and damnation and finally plunging in an eternal fight between substance and abstraction. Mapplethorpe, as a satyr obsessed in searching the perfect shapes, sculpts a world of alienation and obvious comparisons, controlled inch by inch to dominate the anxiety of the unknown through the fascinating exaltation of the power of the body with its powerful chiaroscuro. His muscular philosophy is made of ebony idols and gleaming curves of androgynous women (Patti Smith or Lisa Lyon) : “I see things like sculptures, as forms that occupy a space”. A word of the “Thief of Fire”, his definition, in the title of the theatrical reading connected to exhibition and organized on Wednesday May 7th, 2014.

Mapplethorpe-Rodin, Paris, hands, ph SaraRania

Mapplethorpe-Rodin, Paris, hands, ph Sara Rania

Rodin instead, melts in the desire to capture the movement. Preserving a space for the unpredictable and focusing on the details of the body, he proposes a moving plasticity in his works inspired by the photographic shooting techniques. In his ground of analysis he breaks down and plays with surgical care, finding reminiscences of ancient statuaries well highlighted by Rilke in a text about the armless sculptures; “We are in the presence of something complete, which does not allow any additions”.Extreme guardians of a cult of the body, the works of Rodin and Mapplethorpe seem to challenge, to push the limit of human possibility in nature representation. Exposed side by side, shining in their nudity, their limbs have a lot to tell. They protrude from the walls, filling the display cases and our eyes in an exhibition that refers directly to the large retrospective of the American photographer at the Grand Palais , opened to the public until July 3, 2014 that can be also visited with combined ticket.

Mapplethorpe-Rodin, Paris, ph SaraRania

Mapplethorpe-Rodin, Paris, ph Sara Rania

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