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The Molecules of Worship (by Thierry Bouffeteau)

n. 1 Cathédrale - photograph

The idea behind this work came to me one day when, in the middle of India, my son and I came across a wondrous banyan tree. It was heavily loaded – festooned - with all sorts of humble home-made little bundles. They were mostly made of pieces of cloth, plastic bags in all colours, stones and bits of wood, all tied up in vertical garlands. They suggested a great sense of worship that struck me forcefully. This noble ficus, with its commanding presence, reminded me of Europe’s great cathedrals, but instead of the upward soaring pinnacles of the cathedrals, there were the long, thin, down-thrusting branches with their lovingly placed burdens. These ex-voti, despite their different materials, were very similar in their intentions to ours. In Europe formal carved marble panels with short sentences of thanks or of hope, little naïf paintings, embossed metal representations of sick organs were transformed here in India into the poor materials of everyday life. I became suddenly aware of how much fresh and unexpected beauty is contained in the various objects used in Hindu rituals. What fascinates me in Hindu religiosity is the apparent lack of interest for orderliness and its clear taste for the chaotic and sensual accumulation of various materials. Oil or ghee spread on black stones, petals and flowers scattered over a statue, bits of shiny metal foil, incense sticks, broken coconuts... all gathered casually together. The pieces presented in this show are therefore mostly concerned with the religiosity of India and its physical expressions. On the one hand are the noisy collages, their textural energy coming from thick layers of torn advertisements, while on the other are the silent light boxes, recalling the concentration of prayer, my adult reinterpretation of the childish exercise of punch drawing.


n. 2 Équilibre – watercolour on paper cm 120 x 100

n. 3 Les Temples s’écroulent – watercolour on paper with branches cm 120 x 90


n. 4 Objet chargé portable – mixed media cm 100 x 20 approx.


n. 5 Vache bleue – mixed media cm 170 x 90


n. 6 Fontaine humaine – mixed media cm 310 x 100 approx.


n. 7 Temples perdus (1) – mixed media cm 90 x 70

n. 8 Temples perdus (2) – mixed media cm 170 x 160


n. 9 Holy – mixed media cm 170 x170


n. 10 Équilibre mystique – mixed media cm 300 x 120


n. 11 Autel mental – installation mixed media + video cm 210 x 180 x 60 approx.


n. 12 Une possibilitÊ humaine (1) – mixed media cm 170 x 170 approx.


n. 13 Une possibilitÊ humaine (2) – installation mixed media cm 340 x 160 + on floor cm 180 x 90


n. 14 Kali Yuga – mixed media + video cm 400 x 300 approx.


n. 15 Tabernacle n. 1 Le Dieu dans le temple – cm 41 x 40

n. 16 Tabernacle n. 2 Le temple dans le Dieu – cm 28 x 24


n. 17 Tabernacle n. 3 Dance de l’Esprit (1) – cm 41 x 40


n. 18 Tabernacle n. 4 Temples – cm 63 x 58


n. 19 Tabernacle n. 5 Dance de l’Esprit (2) – cm 50 x 45

Thierry Bouffeteau info@thierrybouffeteau.com


The Molecules of Worship