STRENGTHLESSNESS

OUTDOOR SCULPTURE, LES EXTATIQUES, PARIS - LA DÉFENSE, 2020

Les Extatiques curated by Fabrice Bousteau, Paris - La Défense, Jun 26 - Oct 04, 2020

This work, as you see, represents an unerected obelisk, same size that the one in Paris La Concorde (token from Luxor - Egypt).
When I first came to Paris, back in 2006, it was the first time I traveled outside Colombia. The very first day in town, I went to the Louvre and then walked through the Tuileries until La Concorde.
I was astonished, it felt so weird to see all this treasures from so many places in the center pf Paris… I remember I thought that in Colombia we don’t even have most of our ancestors patrimony, meanwhile here… they have other’s patrimony, and they show them proudly.
There is this huge and silent violence condensed in these monuments, that seems sometimes invisible for some people. I carry that feeling with me… this obelisk and many others monuments of this kind tells a story of domination, colonisation and demonstration of power with such pride and with no criticism. It’s oppressive.
I suppose in Egyptian times it was pretty much the same. This object was most probably made by hundreds of slaves, with the intention to accomplish an image of greatness...
For years I wanted to do something about it. That’s why, back in 2014, I made this sculpture as big at the Luxor’s one, but this time with no strength, with no power. A fallen phallus.
I wanted to put it to the ground, to mock this image of power… use humour to destroy its indecent proudness.
After 2014 this sculptured was shown in different cities, Clichy, Vienna, New York, Guadalajara, Mexico. The sculpture suffered from those trips and we had to destroy it.
After two months of confinement me and my team we’ve been working intensively et joyfully on this.
I’m very happy to show it again, here, in this specific place. It makes a lot of sense.

- Iván Argote (June 2020)