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.
Sisipyhus was a king of Ephyra that tricked Thanatos into captivity, as a result death disappeared from the world. This had the unexpected result of making sacrifices for the gods impossible. As a punishment, Hades made Sisyphus roll a boulder up a steep hill in Tartarus.
The rock was ever fated to roll down. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the myth, a trait more emphasised here than in the myth of Atlas, is the required consent for one’s punishment for indeed it is wholly dependent on the will. Sisyphus must choose through hope to roll the boulder up the mountain, which begs the question, why doesn’t he refuse? It cannot be fear of punishment, for he is already being punished.
This piece shows a Sisyphus frozen in the instant. His punishment is to bear the time of his punishment, a nunc stans that never changes, for indeed the hourglass he bears is horizontal and therefore does not permit the falling of the sand.
I bear upon my back the weight of Time,
An ill that Time, alas, could never heal.
‘Tis Time at last that shall my pain conceal:
A dying sentence against birth, our crime.
Now on my mind, I bear a contradiction:
Patience is the cure to every curse;
But what about Time’s dreadful course?
The only way to escape from its conscription
Is stealing triumph from the victor’s lips;
For but to win against it means to lose
As from our death its victory ensues,
While no one shall survive its dread eclipse.
Oh, Sisyphus, I see, you were most blessed…
The rock rolled down, yet I enjoy no rest.
–2 September MMXXII