2006 – 2012
Taxidermy / Fiberglass, polymer
The elephant series is a specific interpretation of space, not as physical reality but as the support of a vision. The body by its nature has gravity; it is fixed to the earth. The elephant is the heaviest of the land mammals, but here it is a counterpoint that interrogates the sticky surface of the ground. It anticipates a world that exists in another space, like this one but without gravity.
The elephant standing on the end of its trunk, Würsa à 18 000 km de la Terre, 2008) is the first solo elephant of a series of three artworks. The prehensile organ picks nothing up, it simply acts as a point of contact between the animal’s body and one of the boundaries of the space. This banal pressure has produced a tremendous effect on the body, making it seem as if it has been thrust back by the ground. The sense of space is modified by what Firman has called a ‘gravitational disturbance’, a phenomenon by which notions of up and down, horizontal and vertical, are thrown out of kilter. The elephant in itself is not a work of art; it acts as an instrument of information for modifying one’s perception of the space it occupies.
Nasutamanus, literally ‘nostril-hand, hanging in space, touches one of the walls with the end of its trunk and floats in the space like a balloon, and imposes a horizontal vision of the space. The elephant suggests the confrontation of a dynamic principle and a static situation, a paradoxical condensing of powerful movement and immobility in one body. The trunk serves as something to grasp things with, as well as to breathe, to deploy its strength and also to fill itself with air, which makes the corporeal envelope as powerful as it is light, as material as it is spiritual. Propulsion and fixity account for the eccentric position of the animal.