Serge Boularot

Approach My research focuses on the representation of the human body. My job as a plastic arts teacher naturally led me to analyze the work of past masters, those of Greco-Roman Antiquity as well as of later periods. Homer uses the terms “thumos”, “psukhé”, and “aion” to describe what animates man, what pushes him to act, what makes him live. These notions, quite abstract for us, were for the ancient Greeks concrete physiological substances. “Thumos” is the spirit, the ordinary consciousness of man. It’s a breath: vaporous, linked to the heart and lungs. The head is the seat of the “psukhé”: the soul or principle of life which, according to the Greeks, is not limited to the brain but extends to all the clear substances of the body: marrow, fat… The “aion”, on the other hand, is the paragon of all fluids: tears, sweat… In this sense, the “aion” is a sign of life, opposed to dryness, a sign of aging and death. I seek to implement this interiority of man, already thought of as a material conjunction by the Greeks, through matter. I endeavor to transpose the assimilation of moods, feelings, and human psychology with substances and organs to the soil. I try and find the structures and rhythms that spontaneously express the essence of man. How can we externalize physical and psychological beings through matter only? My work questions this representation of the body through the implementation of various techniques pertaining to today’s array of plastic possibilities. Made with paint, paper, and especially ceramic sculpture, my figurative work is plastic first and foremost. This double dimension of the image of the body inscribed in earth matter signifies a correspondence between man and his representation. Whether they are deaf or imperious, the same impulses animate the represented body and the ceramics that constitute it. This way, matter takes on meaning and the human form expressive force.