Here is my favourite series of photos, which I have used many of them independently in my posts, and this one puts them altogether as variations on a theme. Theme Auguste Rodin and my favourite Burghers of Calais. I was immensely touched when I saw them life-sized, with the pleasure of examining every element in their full dimensions. They are extremely expressive, even how their fingers and toes curl show the pain of existentialism in these figures.
A wordpress compatriot had shared the story behind the sculpture here but in a different time-space – seven years ago, and in Paris outside the Rodin Museum. I did not visit the one in Paris, because I had absorbed enough of Rodin-ness in California, and a different priority list by the time I visited Paris.
I love this one because they had spaced out the placement of the six burghers, and I can really walk around every individual to examine every inch of their existential anguish, pain, yet glorious sense of common purpose. Rodin had intended to portray them (according to my Art History books), and I believe celebrate as well, as individuals. So I am very proud of whoever’s decision it was to commission this casting as six individuals, instead of one common platform as exhibited everywhere else.
I find it very difficult to describe the emotions that arose as I breathed them all in, as I was overcome not just by the awe of me being in the same space as these works that I had studied so hard about yet only in 2-Dimension, but by the intensity of the conflicting thoughts of fear, indecision, anguish, and nobility emanating from these six distraught humans. I sat on the bench and cried for a bit. Conflicting emotions, that’s what they feel like. That is what life feels like. And there is nothing we can do about it, but take them all in. Maybe that too is what life is about – taking in depths of differing emotions and yet not trying to make any logical sense out of it or to categorise them in little boxes of something we can perceive and understand.
Last night, I dreamt of our visit to the Church again. I don’t even remember having a very clear memory of the place, and the dream (dreamS if I may call that, since it has been recurring) captures a very different perspective from the photos I took.