Thursday, October 26, 2017
The unveiling of Proust
Marcel Proust comes to light:
Like all, or most, human beings, the sculpture of Marcel Proust, made by Edgar Duvivier, took nine months of gestation, from the conception of its idea, to its inauguration. Nine months of anxiety causing, vague and slow communication with the local authorities; nine months of suspense.
What if the French people didn't appreciate this type of more casual sculpture, with which people can interact? What if they only liked the traditional way of turning the person, who was the model, into a monument on a pedestal, for being looked up at from below, that is, above the direct reach of people?
I shared Edgar's concern, because his emails to France would takes weeks and weeks to be answered. "When will the inauguration be?" " Where will you place "him?"
One should be ready for any kind of receptivity, from people in Cabourg, and, lo and behold, the returning of Proust to Cabourg was blessed.
Following the warm speech of Tristan Duval, current mayor of Cabourg, the writer and Proustian authority, Gonzague Saint Bris, said he had already seen the statue, and found it a magnificent work, a work that shows the inner and the communicative character of Proust at the same time. Questioning how it had been possible that a dandy, who was illl and in bed, for most of his life, could have aroused passion in the whole world, Gonzague brilliantly concluded that it wasn't for writing general subjects, but because he got closer and closer to himself no -holds-bar, resonating, thus, with the Japonese, the Americans, and people from the whole world. (After all, the Proustian approach to oneself searches the profound self, that which, ignored by most, concerns the essence of each, that is promised and sought after by meditations of all types, transpersonal psychology, Junguian psychology, and New Age).
With the typical daring of French intelligence, which specially harmonizes the intimate and the objective, passion and intellect, M. Saint Bris passed from the historic, psychological and factual dimension, to that of spirit: Declaring the inauguration to be a moment of world communion, he concluded that Edgar, with his ancient, French family name, coming from a family that has been established in Brasil after a few generations, had been chosen, from above, by Proust himself, to make his sculpture and take it to Cabourg.
The statue is endowed with life, not just for its elegant similarity to Proust, but also its interactive nature, with which the French people were immediately familiar, in the wonderful and dynamic possibility of being personal, with it.
Life, in interaction, concerns the requesting of, not only the observation of the spectator, but his immersion in the work's atmosphere. Like it happens in Contemplative Interaction- installation, contemporaneous, art- the spectator contemplates at the same time that the immersion of his presence in the work becomes necessary for it to reveal itself, turning this spectator also into agent.
Beyond immersion in the work, Edgar's sculpture gives the spectator the opportunity to interact with it in a personal way: the possibility, really, of re creating it. Each person can take a self in whichever way he/she wants; each becomes unique, in the particularity of his/her participation, equally making, in what he/she gives off him/herself, the sculpture unique, yet again. The latter, in its generosity to transform each spectator into a creator also, eternally reveals itself. Being constantly created anew and re creating, it expresses the essence of life.
It is with great joy that we thus see the generosity of Marcel Proust being propagated, through that of Edgar, in the statue he gave life to, and now lives at Cabourg's gardens, echoing the immense gift of Proust, in writing a book in which his readers would be also the readers of themselves, as he stated it, that is, would be able to make their own, the revelations of Proust's sublime intelligence.
I think M. Saint Bris is right, when thinking that Proust chose Edgar Duvivier to resurrect his likeness and expression. After we saw many people taking their particular selfies, with it, returning late, to the hotel, we could still spot a couple, French kissing, passionately, by its side. Would it be inspired by the passion of Proust, himself? or by the passion he himself arouses?… Certainly!