2011 – oil on canvas, 160×200 cm / 63×79 in
“Something is rotten in the state of Europe”.
Europe’s current state of affairs can be best described by paraphrasing the anguished cry of Shakespeare’s Hamlet to his father’s ghost. In fact, what is left of the great Pan-European movements created by our fathers? A bureaucratic administration without soul or faith, uniting an ever increasing number of states in which an increasing number of citizens does not recognize themselves.
If the financial and economic support of Greece, the cradle of European and Western Civilization, and thus an essential part of Europe, creates a highly acrimonious debate in the richer parts of the Union, there is something rotten about European cooperation; If a right-wing party can gain strength by agitating against foreigners, proposing to close the borders and abandon the European currency, there is something very rotten with the identity of Europe; If there is a large section of public opinion denying Russia its role in Europe, there is something rotten about the geographical and historical understanding of Europe.
Seen from China, the upcoming world power, Europe is a tiny spot on the map, without a definite identity. The little states that make up this nonentity are meaningless to the Chinese. And the political movements gaining strength in these tiny entities are proposing to retreat to even smaller entities, and thus to total irrelevance.
Five hundred years ago Europe reinvented the world. Coming at a time of political upheaval and economic distress, the Renaissance ushered in a golden age for Europe and the Western world. It helped the creation of the modern, sovereign states, the emergence of a unified culture based on a perception of aesthetic senses and the arts, and the development of the humanistic ideology placing all its faith in man. It took Chinese inventions and turned them into weapons of its new scientific progress (China has reversed this process today) based on the Judeo-Christian concept of the “Laws of Nature” given by a supreme legislator.
What this tells us for today’s Europe is that you cannot build a political entity of common destiny based on the stomach alone. We need to engage the soul and win-over the spirits and hearts as well. We have to create a clear patriotic profile which people can easily understand and love, based on the best our continent has to offer, artistically, scientifically and spiritually, basically a new Conscience for Europe. With the sculpture ” Europe” I would like to help build this European Conscience and create an alliance open to all Europeans interested in participating in this European Renaissance.
The breaking white wave on which my Europe is riding represents the tumultuous history of our continent. It replaces godfather Zeus, disguised as a white bull in the older representations of the myth, and represents an important element of Europe’s past and future: the Seas. The seemingly fragile woman on the crest of the wave steers firmly towards the shores of a promised land, a new Europe. The sculpture is illuminated by the multicolored light of a heavenly crystal, the image of our faith.
For Dostoyevsky “Europe is terrible and sacred”. Let’s do everything to make it less terrible and more sacred for our children and make them once more the masters of their destiny. The Lollys dancing around the time warp/sphere, in which we have entangled ourselves, reminds us that the time to solve our problems is nigh. Let’s hope Europe can rescue us again. If not we’ll soon have a yellow smile on our faces.