I arrived in France last week not remembering how to speak french at all. Blah. Or rather, le blah...
So, I threw myself straight back into frenchy-isms, by listening, reading and trying to understand what was being said around me. It was while struggling to comprehend TÉLÉMATIN one morning that I heard a familiar name being said. "Louise Bourgeois" then something, "mort".
Whether one agrees with Bourgeois' artstyle or not, one must admit that the woman's style was quite spectacular. Her artmaking was intrepid and non-conforming, taking a thought, often autobiographical, and going full force, using any medium or technique to say what she wanted to say.
The spider mamans are what I remember the most. Large and encapsulating, wombing nurturing creatures as tall and as grand as a 3-story house. And her totem "friends", which I take great comfort in, being far from my home. Stark, clear, determined to stand straight and tall.
Bourgeois had the momentum of a steam locomotive, her productivity as an artist was phenomenal. A determined focus to create, to speak out through her art, is reason alone to remain impressed by this woman.
Bourgeois died at the age of 98. One week before, Bourgeois was making art. Pretty glorious.
Below is a trailer for a documentary about Bourgeois made in 2008 by Zeitgeist Films. Apologies in advance for the format.
Photo left: by Yann Charbonnier
Photo right: Louise Bourgeois, at the age of 2
"The Spider, the Mistress and the Tangerine" by Zeitgeist Films, 2008