paper 224 g/m2
White wooden frame, Plexiglass
55 1/8 x 83 1/2 in.
20 1/4 x 20 1/4 in. framed
papier Canson 224 g/m2
Encadrement bois blanc, Plexiglas
140 x 212 cm
146 x 218 cm encadré
Stabat Mater Dolorosa
This work shows a ruined place of contemplation, a church or theatre−its recomposed, composite architecture makes it impossible to identify. This collapsed stone structure has been struck by a violent natural accident, with a great hole opening up at its centre and swallowing many of its wooden seats and benches.
The composition is articulated around three spaces with a central separation materialised by the collapse and the light coming down from the roof. Here, the main beam symbolises divine presence, its rays seeming to actively point at the infernal wound in the centre of the composition.
In the niches on the left we make out the vestiges of the tapestries hung there, the plant motifs of what were once a Heron and Egret tapestry, an emblematic verdure work from the Royal Manufactory of Aubuisson, made in the early 18th century, evoking a harmonious vision of a benevolent natural world where man is at peace with God. Facing it in the choir, another tapestry is intact. It represents “The Lamentation of Christ” or “Stabat Mater.” Also made in Aubuisson, albeit somewhat earlier−in the 17th century−it speaks of man’s separation from God. On the left, plants from the tapestry have come to life and overgrown the architecture, wild and chaotic.
The three-part composition of this work mirrors the three cycles or episodes of man’s relation to creation: the Garden of Eden, where man and God are in harmony (represented by the first tapestry of the heron, of which only a few fragments remain), the sacrifice of the Son of God (represented by the Stabat Mater), and the drawing representing the destruction foretold in Revelation, the Apocalypse.
In this desolate architecture Bedez is painting an implicit portrait of our age and our disturbed relation to the natural world, and to the vegetable kingdom in particular. After centuries in which it was constrained and dominated, nature is reminding us of its power in the form of increasingly frequent natural disasters, directly linked to the distortions we have imposed on it. What we thought we could control eludes us, and what we believed was solid and indestructible withers and crumbles. Form is perishable, be it stone or metal, reminding us of the nature of our human condition.