A portrait of the artist as chronicler of things past

The Buddhas of Bâmiyân, which are on show at Lascaux IV until January 5, 2020

Artist Pascal Convert is known for works that reveal shocking aspects of modern history – but, he tells The Connexion, he does not set out to upset

Pascal Convert is a French multi-media contemporary artist. More accurately, he is a sculptor, photographer, stained glass creator, writer and documentary film maker.

He is well known for works which reveal shocking aspects of modern history, bringing the public’s attention to actions which we might otherwise ignore.

His work has been shown in major galleries in France including the Centre Pompidou and the Grand Palais, as well as galleries across Germany, Italy and Japan, and in New Delhi, Moscow, and Brussels, among many major cities.

‘When we arrived at Kabul there were armed military everywhere. We were provided with bullet- proof vests and a bodyguard’ says artist Pascal Convert

He lives and works in Biarritz, but came to the Dordogne to inaugurate his exhibition at Lascaux, the Buddhas of Bâmiyân.

 

Tell me about the background to this work

The Buddhas of Bâmiyân were two monumental statues sculpted into a cliff face between the third and seventh centuries in Afghanistan.

They were 55 and 38 metres high, absolutely colossal. And they were destroyed by the Taliban on March 11, 2001.

Along the same cliff there were 750 caves, with sculpted interiors and frescoes which were also destroyed.

To me there was a strong link between that incident and the destruction of the Twin Towers exactly six months later.

I wrote about the mirror attacks, which attracted the attention of the French Ambassador in Afghanistan, Jean-Michel Marlaud, who asked me to produce a work of art in 2016 to mark the 15th anniversary of the destruction of the Buddhas.

 

How did you decide what to do?

It was a huge responsibility and I wanted to do something I felt could be useful.

I contacted ICONEM, a start-up which ...

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