Under the Perfect Mask of Apollonian Beauty

Paola Ugolini, Io dico Io – I say I curator, talks about Berlinde de Bruyckere

By La Galleria Nazionale

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Berlinde De Bruyckere, was born in Ghent in Belgium in 1964.

Her practice is mainly visualised through disturbing monumental sculptures in which she uses both fabrics and hair, horse skins mixed with woods, resins and waxes on metal structures, to create above all emaciated and contracted human bodies, distorted by unsettling metamorphosis, faceless, yet recognisable, like the work We Are All Flesh (2011-12) composed of two dismembered horse bodies hanging from the ceiling like macabre trophies, in the exhibition halls of the Galleria Nazionale in Rome.

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These two powerful bodies, although locked in paradoxical and wholly unnatural postures, nevertheless maintain a strong realistic impact that cannot leave the spectator indifferent, suddenly forced to confront the physical suffering displayed without reductions or unnecessary embellishments.

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A meditation on pain and the life-death relationship accompanies the expressive journey of this artist who never gives up on researching and remembering the suffering, vulnerability and loneliness of human beings.

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In 2000 she created the installation In Flanders fields, five sculptures of horses lying on their backs, portrayed in twisted poses as a denunciation of the horrors of the First World War (Flanders Fields museum, Ypres).

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In 2003 she gained international fame, with her participation to the Venice Biennale where at the Italian Pavilion she exhibited The black horse, a towering, tragically deformed figure of a horse with a shiny coat.

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Her works are the plastic transposition of Nietzche's nihilistic philosophy with which she captures and underlines the Dionysian nature made of flesh and blood that hides under the perfect mask of Apollonian beauty.

Credits: Story

Voice message by Paola Ugolini, Io dico Io – I say I curator.

Credits: All media
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