Hiding in the City, Liberty Leading the People, 2013
Numbered photographic print of Liu Bolin. Size 18 x 24cm, limited edition of 700 copies, made by Processus laboratory one Hahnemühle fine art paper.
By paying tribute to the celebrated work by Eugène Delacroix, painted in 1831, Liu Bolin articulates ideas which have been important to him since the beginning of his career: the struggle against obscurantism, and the role of tradition in contemporary society. Created in Brussels in 2013, the photograph is part of a triptych whose themes explore the notion of freedom, made in collaboration with the French artist RERO. “Liu Bolin was seized by the beauty and the force of Delacroix’s painting, Liberty Leading the People,” explains Romain Degoul, founder of the Galerie Paris-Beijing.
The choice of a work that is so overtly historical and political is an innocent one. Liu Bolin becomes one with this allegory of Liberty, the central feminine gure in the painting, brandishing the French flag. By doing so, he becomes himself a universal symbol of Libertarianism and pictorial freedom. Nothing could be more appropriate for the man who considers himself as a “free artist.”
“At the beginning of my performances, it was me, the artist, who was hurt. As I advanced in my work I realised that it was society around the world which wasn’t doing well. My questioning opened to the world. I discovered that I was not alone – everyone around me was dealing with the same problems. I used my body in order to warn the viewer that in the end, it is the things made by man which are making us all disappear.”
What’s the secret of his own production? His assistant-painters need about ten hours and a lot of paint to make him invisible. Without using any tricks or retouching, the performance so carefully directed by Liu Bolin is nally captured through photography to last over time.
Print sold inside Wombat N°30 included.
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