We know it. Art is a reflection of our society. It synthetises society’s spirit, it stigmatises society’s neurological points, or magical moments according to the time or the hour.

Art can demonstrate the fortunate gates of existence or its hideous, most violent, face. The vast majority of fortunes and violence are as old as humanity and, some years ago, in a time blessed by great insouciance, they remained provocative. Today it is not violence but too much joy that has become indecent. Our time is marked by those who only think of themselves; Newspapers, radio and television bring all the world’s miseries right to the doorstep of our consciences and these banalised images have become normal. They are part of our daily life, our daily pain, swallowed by a nearly general indifference that has become a kind of instinctive defence. This accumulated pain, ingested dose by dose, must be released one way or another. But what is to be done against war, crime and sickness other than help when we can and not turn our backs even when we feel more and more impelled to ignorance?

Gudy pursues her work of catalysis and fixes in resin her reminders of brutality and her digust for the violence that ravages the world and announces a hardly engaging twenty first century. One of the primordial demands of art is the eternal wish for a better world. To become conscious of this may put aside a danger. In a steel frame that is like the screen of a television through which the world penetrates into our homes, Gudy’s “poupées” (puppets) -individual X- the toys that we are, come and go. Anything can happen to them, the best or the worst. The worst is united here in nine acts.

  1. 059AIDS. The transparent puppet reveals its skeleton more clearly than ever against a background of Japanese prints illustrating a liberine eroticism from an accomplished past, into which the dance of death has been introduced from a Fandago of Posada.WAR. Over this same macabre Mexican dance that laughs at death, a mother doll is giving birth in the middle of bullets to children ready to be flashed, crushed, offered to War.terrorismlarge
  2. TERRORISM. Included in the resin, which has shattered in places, are bits of ripped metal debris and puppets wounded by a blind killing explosion.
  3. CHILD ABUSE. Damaged toys cover the body of a raped childpuppet.abuselarge
  4. CRIME. Behind the bars of a screen/window, criminal hands are printed with the blood of the artist.
  5. TORTURE. Individual X is chained up. The resin is impregated with spatters of blood and traces of its bloodied feet.060
  6. HEARTACHE. As many neddles as possible are stuck into the heart.
  7. HOLLIS SIGLER; BREAST CANCER JOURNAL. The condemned being is debating the innaceptable with words. The bond is tightening.061
  8. PAIN. The puppet resumes for herself all of the sufferings she has endured. Her resin body reveals all her scars, all the blows she has received. The frame itself has not resisted.

Can we reconcile ourselves to this?

Can we come to help?

Can we know compassion?

Can we be concerned with the world?

These scuptures are the expression of a sign that we sense more and more and we would hope will be read: HALT!

Nathalie de Saint Phalle