In this first English translation of one of his most important works, Michel Serres presents the statue as more than a static entity: for Serres it is the basis for knowledge, society, the subject and object, the world and experience. Serres demonstrates how sacrificial art founded and still persists in society and reflects on the centrality of death and the statufied dead body to the human condition.
Each section covers a different time period and statuary topic, ranging from four thousand years ago to 1986; from Baal, the paintings of Carpaccio, and the Eiffel Tower, to Rodin’s The Gates of Hell, the Challenger disaster and the literature of Maupassant, La Fontaine and Jules Verne. Expository, lyrical, fictionalized and hallucinatory, Statues plays with time and place, history and story in order to provoke us into thinking in entirely new ways.
Through mythic and poetic meditations on various kinds of descent into the underworld and new insights into the relation of the subject and object and their foundation in death, Statues contains great treasures and provocations for philosophers, literary critics, art historians and sociologists.