The Rhythms of Life and Art: Symons and the Interrelationship between Sculpture and Dance at the Fin de Siècle
This paper was presented at the Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies on Monday 28 November 2016 in the Keynes Library, Birkbeck School of Arts, by Lene Østermark-Johansen (University of Copenhagen). The paper was followed by a response from Alexandra Gerstein (Courtauld Institute of Art).
Abstract: This talk explores some of the many links between sculpture, writing and dance in fin-de-siècle Paris through a study of Arthur Symons’s involvement with the works of Auguste Rodin and avant-garde dance as represented by Loïe Fuller and Isadora Duncan. As spatial arts, engaging in and exploring three-dimensional space, sculpture and dance impinge on the physical space of the spectator. Although one art is solid and static, the other evanescent and ephemeral, the approximations between the two arts were many at the turn of the century. The Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900 became the epicentre for the display of the moving body, whether as modern machine with sophisticated stage effects or as erotic bodies captured in drawing, photography, and sculpture.Listen to a recording of Lene Østermark-Johansen’s paper ‘The Rhythms of Life and Art’ here: