Ian Charles Lepine seeks to present beings trapped in a crossroads of contradiction: his interest is to display creatures whose very existence negates their very existence. These are beings at war with themselves, a war where all victories cannot but prove pyrrhic.
His sculptures are frequently accompanied by a poem in either English, French, or Italian, that seeks to give word to the tragedy intrinsic to the form.
Author: Ian Charles Lepine
Technique: Ceramic clay sculpture, painted with oxides and enamel.
After participating in the Titanomachy, Atlas is punished by Zeus and as a consequence must bear aloft the firmament. The broken telephone of tradition has modified his punishment: in our modern imaginary, he holds the world, and the word Atlas has even become synonymous for it.
In this piece I sought to play upon that meaning. The sculpture stands upside down, with the world holding Atlas. However, the piece as a whole is set upon a mirror: Atlas holds the world that holds Atlas that holds the world.
Thus, he is compliant in his punishment, a torture that is only capable of existence because of his willingness to bear it.
You hold the world upon your broken back,
But have you stopped to think upon that world
Another Atlas stands like you condemned
To bear a punishment as cruel, as black?
Were you to know your pain will others birth,
And that your actions hurt some millions more,
Would you perhaps revolt again in war
And never rest until your final breath?
One’s punishment is heavy enough I think,
But to condemn a lineage to despair
Is so much more than one mere man can bear,
And might perhaps just push him to the brink.
Did you ever think another might bear you
And by his pain does make your torture true?
–15 August MMXXII