Solstice d’été
François Bouillon

Granite and lampblack, 400 x 100 x 100 cm

Command of the Syndicat mixte "le Lac de Vassivière" (owner Syndicat mixte "le Lac de Vassivière") in 1984

Born at Limoges in France in 1944, François Bouillon lives and works in Paris in France.

François Bouillon is particularly interested in civilizations such as the Dogons, the Australian aborigines or the Inuits, who live in a symbiotic, magical and pragmatic relation with nature. His work concerns essentially the manipulation of materials. Whether wood, stone or metal, the materials are used above all for their intrinsic “materiologic” qualities, but through the intervention of unexpected connections they undergo a semantic displacement that reveals them to us as resolutely invested with a symbolic dimension. 

François Bouillon thus describes Summer solstice: “The sculpture is made of two equilateral triangles that meet at the intersection to form a Jewish star. The center of gravity is perfectly geometrical. But when we move around it, we have the impression of an imbalance that is put right by an oval formed by holes pierced with locks of hair and inside which oil has been burned.” The stacking of the two blocks lends an odd impression of imbalance that the oval, formed by the traces of the absent fire, corrects. “The oval of fire links the two prisms like the solstice links two seasons.” The various geometric figures of the triangle, the star and the oval intervene in this work through complex relations of antinomy and complementariness, and help to build a monument of “unstable equilibrium”.

The notion of “solstice” - etymologically the stopping of the sun (sol “sun” and stare “to be immobile”) – materializes on Vassivière Island by means of the ovoid trace of fire that in a single unit links the two blocks of granite to the opposite positions. With Summer solstice, it is not only two contradictory forces that are put in play: the destructive force of the fire that burns, consumes and devours, and the resistance of the granite due to its crystalline essence and its very density, but at the same time two approaches to time, one limited (combustion), the other unchanging and indefinite (mineral).


Copyright: André Morin