Josephine (Paris, 2017), 2017
37 1/2 inches (95 cm) tall
“Hole has as much to do with the question of passage,” says Moulène, “as it engages with the issue of lack, or of something missing. Regarding the bronze sculpture titled Josephine, its holes correspond to missing information in the 3D scans. This is the result of the incapacity of the software to interpolate and intersect images.
Josephine is the name of the model. The posture of the model has an androgynous quality. But to add to the politically incorrect situation, remarks the artist, as the material is bronze with a transparent black patina, there remains something akin to the red of black skin. So here again an ambiguity is introduced. Who is she really? It doesn’t matter, in a way; it could be anybody-whatever. Yet, as it must be a particular body, why not make it as ambiguous as possible.”
The posture of the model with its hands turned outward corresponds in no way to the type of image acquisition we performed. And by the way, you’ll notice that the postures or poses of all 3D figures made today borrow their poses from contemporary photography. For my part, I looked for a pose much further back to a time when figures were carved from a stone block. In order to fulfill geometric and economic concerns, the stone block already prescribed elements of the pose. If you look at Josephine in profile carefully, you’ll notice that the toes, the edge of the chin, the belly, the breasts, the palm of the hands and the fingertips, the nose are all perfectly aligned on the plane. And the knees are also slightly flexed to further align with this front plane. From the back, the heels, the posterior, and the back of the hair also align. So the model’s pose is first lodged into a stone block, if you will. To achieve this end, the model positioned herself against a large polystyrene board, and when ready pushed it away.
The scanning process began at that moment and lasted about two minutes.
In the show, the role of the stone block is taken up by the pedestal, which measures exactly the height, width and depth of the sculpture. So volumetrically, the pedestal contains the sculpture.
“There is one more thing I’d like to say, something more like a political argument that lies behind all this: you remember that in the 1970s, intellectuals and analysts spoke about the body in terms of its fragmented nature. One spoke of the separated body, the schizophrenic body, etc. But the perforated body, or the body with holes, no – quite simply because at that time the identity imperative didn’t exist. Today, as everyone needs to conform to some identity, everyone effectively has a body, which is no longer fragmented. But it has holes, because it isn’t complete, because in the end the body is an assemblage in representation itself. I believe that the notion of the body with holes will eventually replace the body of fragmentation, of assemblage. As everyone wants you to have a body, you end up trying to regroup it around something, but since there are missing parts, it follows that holes exist. Their potential lies in that they allow to look and see inside, which means to access the making of the body entity.”