Concrete and burned wood wedges
116 x 70 x 71 cm
In his work, Benjamin Sabatier explores the question of artistic labour, always aware of the socio-economic context in which his works are set. To make this sculpture, the artist first poured concrete into a cardboard box and then struck the shape obtained with a sledgehammer. The result is angular forms that refer both to minimal art and brutalist architecture, as well as to the field of construction and building sites – the subject of the box and the materials chosen evoking by association the harshness of physical labour and the alienation of bodies at work. Benjamin Sabatier translates this reality through the pressure exerted by the concrete crate on the two burnt wooden wedges, which seem both to hold the heavy mass and to be ready to give way under its weight. “For lack of publicly showing the pain of his body at work, the sculptures (…) all keep the languid, if not robust, trace of it.“ (1) The work thus suggests, in negative, the hard manual work performed by the artist.
(1) Boutet de Monvel, Violaine, “Inventaire” in Sabatier, Benjamin, Inventaire, Anamosa, Paris, 2022