Tomorrow on the shoulders of the Giants…
Bronze numbered & limited edition
Steel base recycled objects
Price upon request
Sculpture made to order, on the theme of Corporate Social Responsibility CSR, on behalf of the company BASSETTI specializing in the transmission of technical expertise.
It will be inaugurated at the Salon des Artistes Français at the Grand Palais in Paris on the occasion of Art Capital from February 13 to 18, 2024.
The sculpture is the subject of an article in the Entreprendre magazine, special report on art in business, February 2024 issue.
What does this sculpture tell us?
J. Why did you choose the theme of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?
This is a suggestion from David Bassetti, my sponsor. He had already proposed to me a previous project on Audacity, which we carried out in 2022. For this new project, he wanted a theme that was strong in his current affairs as an entrepreneur and which was a common concern.
J. Not an easy theme for a sculpture… How did you go about developing the idea?
Indeed, the theme is anything but simple. It embraces a lot of concerns. And I didn’t want to fall into commonplaces or offer a representation that has already been seen. Not falling into classic representations was difficult. Carrying a message of hope and reconciliation was a necessity. I started by talking about it to those around me. I had discussions with many CSR players: consultants, researchers… I read articles. In short, I accumulated raw material. Then you have to let it all settle. And one fine day, an idea emerges. We don’t know exactly where it comes from. But when it’s the right one we feel great certainty. Then we try to understand the idea. We make a 1/5 scale earthen model, and we compare our idea with our sponsor. Afterwards the idea must mature a little longer before being realized.
J. What is the idea that emerged from all this?
The male character is typical of our society. He became aware of the enormous societal challenges he would have to face. He is concerned, even dismayed, appalled by the consequences of human activity on global warming and the loss of biodiversity. Aware of the current climate issues, he nevertheless continues to do what he has always done. He doesn’t know how to do otherwise, caught in a spiral, he draws on resources mechanically with his left hand.
J. Why did you choose such a base?
Basically I imagined sculpting a base coming out of the man’s body which is cracking, made of different objects from 20th century industry. There must have been a TGV, a Concorde, a nuclear power plant cooling column, but also a washing machine and a cell phone… All this caught in a sort of spiraling maelstrom. This greatly increased the duration of the project. And then I told myself that the objects of 20th century industry already existed and that I just had to assemble them.
J. Are these real objects that were in use?
Exactly. We can recognize gears, pulleys, pieces of a combine harvester and a plowshare. There is also a Roman scale, shock absorber spatulas, and a gear system from a rotisserie…
J. The man looks a bit like you, doesn’t he?
When I thought about this character, I identified deeply with him. As a former engineer who worked for two thirds of the industrial CAC 40 during the first twenty years of my career, I felt very concerned by the situation. It was quite natural that I took inspiration from my features. I didn’t want to teach anyone a lesson, it’s a way of saying: “I too am a product of the 20th century. I am aware of the situation, but I feel like a rabbit caught in the headlights of a car”. The film Tomorrow, by Cyril Dion, contributed to my awareness. And precisely, in the face of dismay, Cyril Dion suggests showing various actors who have made 180° choices. Calling this sculpture Tomorrow, On the Shoulders of Giants is a reference to this important film.
J. Why did the 21st century fall on the shoulders of man?
Yes, on his giant shoulders, stands a little girl (1/2 human size). She embodies the 21st century, which we hope is more feminine and focused on sustainable development. Children live in the home of tomorrow, the poet Kalil Gibran tells us. They do not belong to us and are like arrows shot into the future. The idea of placing it on the shoulders of man comes from the phrase “we are like dwarves perched on the shoulders of Giants”, attributed to Bernard of Chartres. It is also a tribute to Jean Claude Ameisen, who worked so hard to raise awareness of the need for lasting action, through his presidency of the National Ethics Council. Jean Claude Ameisen began each of his broadcasts on France Inter, On the shoulders of Darwin with this famous phrase. This phrase reminds us that all innovation builds on past discoveries.
J. The little girl turns her back on the Man… Is she angry?
No, not exactly. However, younger generations must definitely look in another direction to find solutions to tomorrow’s challenges; they must rely on the solid foundation of 20th century innovations. The young girl is resolutely turned towards other horizons, more in harmony with Nature which she must preserve, which is why she holds a tree in her left hand. His right hand held the man’s hand, in a tender gesture of transmission.
J. But she’s letting go of his hand…
Yes. She has one foot in the air because she is preparing to take the plunge, in a determined manner. She throws herself into the unknown, the uncertain, and yet, moves forward with conviction and I hope, serenity…