Plensa, Jaume - I sleep no more
Type of Spiritual Experience
From An Interview with Artist Jaume Plensa – by Ginny Van Alyea [Chicago Gallery News]
JP: I grew up in a family obsessed about books. My father, he was always buying books and reading and reading. My visual education was more text, than art or images. On Sunday morning we were always together when he went to buy secondhand books in old markets. It’s true that I’ve been fascinated by words and poetry. I remember one day I decided to use, as a material, all this information that I collected in childhood. So my first piece with text was about [Shakespeare's] Macbeth, because I always thought that Macbeth, the man, was one of the best definitions of his culture. When Macbeth killed the king, he realized that he didn’t kill a body or the man, he killed the possibility to sleep. I love this concept, because in sculpture, it’s always the same, you cannot describe. A painter could talk about the everyday life, but the sculptor is always talking about big obstructions – love, hate – but nothing in between. And I guess you are using physical elements, you can touch and caress, but you cannot describe. And that is Macbeth – I sleep no more.
That became my first piece of this show, I Sleep No More. Then I understood the text as a beautiful metaphor about community, about society. One letter alone is nothing, but together with other letters you get a word. A word with a word becomes a text, and so on. A person alone is nothing, but together with others we become family, a neighborhood, a city, a county, a country. My portraits are similar – I love diversity, that is the richness of our society, and it’s the same as putting all the alphabets together, creating amazing diversity and how well we are when we are together.
A description of the experience