The Panting Body
Edouard Glissant, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Istres, France, 1996.
One can speak, in talking about this assembly of sculptures, of a race of giants, because they fill the space around us, obviously, but also any space that we could evoke or imagine.
The uniformity of their size, between twenty and forty centimeters, persuades us that these people are liberating themselves in all directions, taking us along with them.
If we said that, for the most part, they have come out of Seguí paintings, this remark would take nothing away from their very pure individuality, which is to run about in all directions, establishing and “performing” a reality which is very precious to me, that of the rhizome.
First, because of their ELEVATION. This way of drawing upward, not toward an illusory ideal, but toward the region of the improbable, well above the contradictions which block us here below.
And then, THE STEP. These people are perpetually moving about, as if their bodies did not stop panting in their surroundings. Some day it would be good to carefully study this gesture, the step, ho!—by which one moves away and by which one draws near, which separates and which reunites. The step, which grows bigger, becoming a giant stride when it is a question of integrating a restive reality, or which repeats infinitely, as for the “médecin de colonie.” The step of the timeless tango. And from time to time, THE ROUND. This sort of farandole, which is not the silly exaltation of happiness, but a dizzying transport, knotted together in one fixed point.
Head down, creeping-vine limbs, feet that have become stumps, stubborn one-legged people, tomb-visitors, wind-breaker silhouettes, clay which hardens, this crowd ceaselessly questioning its movement.
I like to think that what it tells us in this way is that which we do not cease to experience or meditate in the unpredictable disorder of the world; that our place, this place from which we emit our words and organize our gestures, is irreplaceable, but that it makes sense only when it is engaged with all the possible elsewheres.
Yes, the Art of Antonio Seguí, which emerged from the depths which he alone has plumbed, summarizes the moving network of the world.
And so, it is good to spend a long time with one of these people, one of these giants which so forcefully exceeds his uniform, measured dimension, in order to reach an understanding of their throng. Giants, because they condense within them something infinite. Not in the way Bonsais do, these unfortunate trees forced to be small, but like Elves who know that their real world is that of the unapproachable and unlimited. In the infinite Baroque development of our world, the Art of Antonio Seguí is one of the surest paths that we can follow. These panting bodies are pointing us toward breathtaking directions.