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Fig. 3b. Fig. 3a & b Ghérasim Luca & Piotr Kowalski, details from Sisyphe géomètre (Geneva: Éditions Claude Givaudin, 1966). Private collection, Paris, courtesy of Piotr Kowalski Estate.

In Greek legend, King Sisyphus was forced to atone for his crimes and lies by the punishment of rolling a boulder uphill only to see it roll down to the beginning again, a limitless torment echoed by Luca’s contribution to the work: six short poems describing a set of classic geometrical solids (cone, cylinder, sphere, cube and pyramid), each line of mathematical description interspersed with the body’s despair (“Anguished body / through the anguished rotation / of a rectangle of anguish / around one of its anguished sides”).34 Each of these poems is printed on a clear plastic sheet that stands like a tombstone behind small glass versions of the five geometrical forms, all of which stand on a substantial plastic base containing hidden mechanisms below and to one side. 34

Reprinted in Ghérasim Luca, “Sisyphe géomètre,” in Paralipomènes (Paris: Le soleil noir, 1976) 97–105.

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Profile for Contra Mundum Press

Gherasim Luca Centenary Issue  

Essays and reflections in English and French on Romanian surrealist Gherasim Luca, including Luca's own texts and art. Also featuring rumi...

Gherasim Luca Centenary Issue  

Essays and reflections in English and French on Romanian surrealist Gherasim Luca, including Luca's own texts and art. Also featuring rumi...

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