Troubled France: the potter, the European commissioner and the giant syringe

Ua 12-meter-long syringe, like an eighteen-meter ant with a hat on its head, it doesn’t exist. And why not, said to himself one morning Guy Baudat, potter and plastic artist from Gargilesse-Dampierre (Indre) while meditating on the Covidian era. Installed at the entrance of the medieval fortress that it has been restoring for thirty-five years, its monumental sculpture imposes with its two tons of stainless steel and its “theoretical” capacity of 400,000 milliliters. “Triumphant syringe, monument to the glory of an ordinary object reputed to be the vaccine weapon of the last chance” – this is its name – is not a promotional tool for the campaign against the coronavirus, swears its creator: “I wanted to show that the object had become a totemic of our society. I do not sublimate the syringe, I do not denigrate it either. Dictatorship is the virus. “

“I had some fears to see antivax tagging it”, says Guy Baudat

Loud verb and Gaulish mustache, Guy Baudat owes his fortune to a network of craft shops that he opened, from the 1970s, in historic towns and remarkable villages: “I have known the state of grace of sandstone”, says the secretive septuagenarian who refuses to give his age. In 1986, he bought Châteaubrun, a 14th century chateaue century, classified “Final ruin” by the state. The place inspired George Sand, neighbor of the place. It was also the property of the sculptor Lucien Brasseur who trained Paul Belmondo there, the father of the recently deceased actor. The building was also offered to “Bébel”, who did not want it. “He could see himself doing stunts there, but living there, no”, says the current host, who spent lavishly to rehabilitate the pierced dungeon: “I could have bought a yacht instead. “

The arrival of “mister vaccine”

Around a hundred gigantic bronzes now adorn the site and the surrounding forest. Guy Baudat has symbolism pegged to the body. Charge against the Patriarchate, one of his sculptures shows a ” dominant male ” crush his genitals on an anvil. An anti-digital spike takes the form of a screen addict trapped in a mousetrap. Many other contemporary evils are denounced in these statues not available for sale: war, animal suffering, sex tourism, genetic manipulation, freedom-killing laws … There is ultimately only this colossal syringe not to convey message and give everyone the freedom to interpret it as they wish. During the Heritage Days, which saw 3,000 visitors on site on the weekend of September 18, a muscular friend of the owner was nevertheless assigned to his surveillance: “I had some fears to see antivax tagging her”, says Guy Baudat.

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