Christine & The Queens/Redcar x Rodin

Christine & The Queens/Redcar x Rodin

French electro/performance artist Christine and the Queens have been blending their distinctive music, dance, performance and art practise to global acclaim for just over a decade. In an exciting new collaboration with Sotheby's, ahead of the October Modernités sale, they present a unique dance response to Auguste Rodin's 'L'Age d'Airain' - and share with us, an exclusive poem written especially as a reaction to the work.
French electro/performance artist Christine and the Queens have been blending their distinctive music, dance, performance and art practise to global acclaim for just over a decade. In an exciting new collaboration with Sotheby's, ahead of the October Modernités sale, they present a unique dance response to Auguste Rodin's 'L'Age d'Airain' - and share with us, an exclusive poem written especially as a reaction to the work.

W hen French singer-songwriter, Christine and the Queens was invited to be guest of honour for Sotheby's 2022 Paris Sales, coinciding with the Paris+ fair by Art Basel, he gravitated immediately to one work in particular: August Rodin's extraordinary life-size bronze sculpture, L'Age d'Airain.

As a popstar famed for his jawdropping live performances and bold music videos centering on contemporary choreography, it is no wonder that the sensuous physicality of Rodin's work appealed and inspired. Electro-pop phenomenon, Chris – also known as Redcar, in a new incarnation for their upcoming album, Redcar Les Adorables Étoiles – has always been a performer that has celebrated and explored movement of the human body. Before becoming a global icon, he studied dance and theatre, honed his skills by performing with drag queens in London and ultimately crafted a unique stage persona that has wowed audiences all over the world.

Provocative and genre-bending, both Chris/Redcar's critically acclaimed debut album, Chaleur humaine and the equally successful follow-up, Chris, played with gender stereotypes, pop tradition and lyrical songwriting. The accompanying visuals have always matched the power of the music and in 2020, his EP La Vita Nuova was released alongside a sumptuous 13-minute short film choreographed by the award-winning Ryan Heffington.

Now, Christine and the Queens/Redcar, presents another avant-garde video, inspired by Rodin's L'Age d'Airain. Given carte blanche by Sotheby's to create a new piece of art inspired by the sculpture, Chris/Redcar developed a new visual interpretation for their song La Chanson du Chevalier, which will be released on the Redcar Les Adorables Étoiles albumn on 11 November. Here, Sotheby's presents exclusive images from behind the scenes of the historic video shoot ahead of the Modernités sale.

Accompanying the video, is a the following poem, written by Chris/Red to illustrate how Rodin's masterpiece inspired this stunning new video reinterpretation.

Christine and the Queens presents Redcar: La Chanson du Chevalier

My existential victory lies in aesthetics.
Shapes and colors, careful arrangements of flowers, trajectories of light on bended muscles
Matter at work
Matter / life, the great wound of light
That I purge with aesthetics
As I lovingly set up altars - yes, altars
Dreams of future flowers and fruits
Justice given to the soft cumulative work of birds
Who branch by branch reform the entire universe inside their boat
Of woven light
Me, an idiot, more than the quiet young man Rodin made
He resonates like a bronze bell
Starred out with sweat
I can only be his mate, at the edge of aesthetics
This wonderful land without shores, where all nuances coexist
Only in this gleaming symphony can our humanity blossom
Through the choices of the gardener
I decide to give him my sailor’s truth, for his virility called upon the one who,
Through the sea, longed to drown in someone else’s body
So he would not hurl himself in the furious waves
It is flesh that calls me upon the shore, only the flesh of the shore that water eats a bit more everyday
Bile tears and toxic liquids, greenish, algae blocking the light so the depths of the sea remain protected - obscure
it is through the flesh that I understood the shore,
it reminding me of narrower appetites
Penetrating, piercing tears
And then I give myself back to the water, the bronze of the statue being more resonant than solidified
Spirit runs through the muscles
Rodin: a life-stealer
A sun-stealer, a glorious architect of this nothingness - life
That visits one day
A body
I cannot think of the inert body Rodin kept close, I cannot fathom of the bodies his art left behind
I consider myself the young man’s mate
Not more alive or cleverer than him, no, and always a student of movement, just like he is
I consider myself as a drunken comrade, delighted not to be alone any longer
In his body sculpted out of the void, remaining still when hurt, a fool in love
The starting point is the life of this body, which I myself receive, as a performer, becoming the bronze hammer, then its resonance, in the far reaches of the room

I am aware it’s all a play
I am aware there are limits to reality
That behind this wall, there is something else, and that the surging of light is not an end in itself
I should not just dance
With my stiff leg
Stiffer than his truth even, eternal
Stolen
Understood, distilled, this young man is a perfume and my bottle is nothing against the scent of his skin, that you get by just looking at him
I should not be, but I’m scared
Of going through this wall
Of going inside
Leaving the room, leaving him too

He does not move forward with me when I do
I have to leave him behind
Bronze bell of the first of churches, first tortured victims of the church
Avenger of all the little burnt ones from Pont-Aven, son of the sea consumed by him in his time,
Offered to the water’s eternity
And first son of all eternities—

European Sculpture & Works of Art

More from Sotheby's

Stay informed with Sotheby’s top stories, videos, events & news.

Receive the best from Sotheby’s delivered to your inbox.

By subscribing you are agreeing to Sotheby’s Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from Sotheby’s emails at any time by clicking the “Manage your Subscriptions” link in any of your emails.

Close
arrow Created with Sketch. Back To Top