The Rictus Art of Olivier de Sagazan

“Like a caged beast, born of a caged beast, born of a caged beast, born of a caged beast, born dead and then…” –Samuel Beckett

Stills from Olivier de Sagazan’s 1998 sculptural performance work, Eye and the Chair.

Joe Haskins just alerted me to this astounding piece of performance art by a man named Olivier de Sagazan, titled Return to Close:

Clayface, for real.

Olivier de Sagazan has an appropriately unsettling site with a wide array of stills and clips from his live installations, as well as an image gallery of sublimely horrific sculptures. There doesn’t seem to be much web content on him written in native English. If any of our French (or is it Belgian?) speaking readers have information about this fascinating fellow available, it’d be wonderful to discover more about the man and his singularly beastly, loamy work!

14 Responses to “The Rictus Art of Olivier de Sagazan”

  1. Katie Says:

    I really need to stop checking Coilhouse right after I wake up. Awesome, but…eegads!

  2. Peter S. Says:

    Wild. Reminds me of some of Shinichi MOMO Iova-Koga’s work, but heavier.

  3. Jon Munger Says:

    I love horrific performance art. I love watching it, doing it, and hearing about it. Imma gonna go dust off my straight jacket!

  4. Kale Kip Says:

    Sorry, the rants and mumblings are in French.

  5. Andy Says:

    Looks like he was born in the Congo and studied biology.

    Translation from De Sagazan’s site:

    “I will address here the question of the artistic process and the genesis of a work of art. My approach works toward a personal application of painted sculpture and some skill as a biologist. This constitutes perhaps the driver and the limit of my interpretation.

    I will rapidly give the elements of my theory of sculpture: materials and elements, to then get to the center of the subject: the transfer of ‘forms’ between the body of the artist and the work of art. At the start: an impression, a vague form, poorly seen, at best without a face, sensed again with the gut, something which one wants to draw closer.”

    J’aborderai ici la question du processus artistique et de la genèse d’une œuvre d’art. Mon approche s’appuiera sur une pratique personnelle de peintre sculpteur et quelques compétences de biologistes. Cela constituera peut-être la force et la limite de mon interprétation.
    Je donnerai rapidement les éléments de ma pratique de sculpteur : matériaux et procédés, pour aborder ensuite le vif du sujet : le transfert de « formes » entre le corps de l’artiste et l’œuvre.
    Au commencement : une impression, une forme vague, mal vue, à peine dévisagée, ressentie avec le ventre, quelque chose dont on a envie de se rapprocher.

  6. Jerem Morrow Says:

    Primal. Love.

  7. Skerror Says:

    Physical anthropology professors should all borrow a page from this man’s book.

  8. sascha Says:

    I’m speechless! I still can’t believe all the seeming randomness of his gestures ended up as such sublime beasts. Thank for sharing with us!

  9. Jamie Says:

    Man… I don’t completely know what I just watched, but I was horrified and amazed and completely riveted.

  10. Jerem Morrow Says:

    p.s. Brom painting…come to life.

  11. Amelia Arsenic Says:

    Wow.. that was one of the most amazing pieces of performance art I’ve ever seen. Incredible. I want to know more about him! I will put my french speaking friends onto him.

  12. Mark Says:

    His mum is gonna throw a MENTAL when he gets home.

    Ace, loved it.

  13. k paul blume Says:

    Actually, I found this strangely derivative and disappointing…just me, though. Probably.

  14. Josh Says:

    Look for transfiguration