Fight Club, Bras de Fer

Fight Club (2011/2012) was a site specific sculpture designed to interact with its’ environment. Exhibited at the Parc Caillebotte in Yerres, France, it reveals the ambiguous relationship between man and nature, through the metaphor clenched fists. The work is installed across a riverbed; and can either be interpreted as a showdown or as a series of handshakes. The sculpture is 1.50 m. tall. Made polystyrene and resin, it floats on water like and anchored boat hull. The sculpture requires a ballast to stay upright. The forearms are modelled in the style of Soviet social realist statues, while at the same time floating and thus denying the implicit weight in the masculine and manly gesture of the outstretched hand.

Originally commissioned for the Yerres Biennial, the sculpture asks “what does it take” to win a place of honor at such an event? The game of Fight Club is a sport, like boxing, which can also be a way to resolve a conflict. This sculpture shows the moment of the fight and not one of victory.
This work does not contain a world in itself: it does not give answers, but asks questions. By inviting the public to make various interpretations, it is necessarily contextual and incomplete.

At the Caillebotte Park, a place of peace and rest, Fight Club makes visible a moment of conflict. It reminds us that the body is constantly in competition for access to limited resources. The conflict is natural, inevitable part of human life, rather than something to be swept under the rug, ignored or underestimated. Fight Club suggests that in avoiding conflict, we become nothing less than wise machines, cold and detached.

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