Louise Bourgeois : The spider / by delphine queme

The first time i saw this spider was in London at Tate Modern a few years ago.

You could walk near it and be really impressed with the size and the crazyness of this work of art.

There are two things that i really would like to say about it.

First, it really struck me when i first saw it about how it explained by itself the meaning of being an artist. Why “the hell” would an old lady build such a piece, 5 times taller and a million times heavier than herself instead of just doing her daily things. I was really asking myself how can someone be “pulled” or “pushed” to manufacture with his or her hands such a thing ? the size of it, the material used, but also the fact that Louise Bourgeois is a woman, especially old now, made really the idea obvious.
I think that this was clearly something beyond her or stronger than her little personna. It was something that she HAD to express (no matter what).
That is why it is easy to relate art creation to an unconscious process. The artist undergoes art creation as an expression of himself. I think.

The second thing i wanted to underline was the incredibly comic (shall i say cynical ?) scene it was to see all the tourists taking a picture of The spider, like it was a classical roman statue, the spider itself (“remember it is called “Mother” !!!!) and the soft and neat explanation of the work of art by the artist : “Why a spider to represent my mother ?? because both are intelligent, patient, clean (?!), useful (??!!) ….”
here you read a list of qualities and a tribute to how wonderful her mother was.
But this is a GIANT SPIDER !!!!!! it is just a nightmare in a horror movie !!
That is something which is really impressing me with Louise Bourgeois.
She manages to make parisians and tourists take nicely their picture of a giant spider who represents a mother.
And in the Tuileries gardens next to Louvre, this is classical art now.

“Chapeau bas”, as we say in France.