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Paris, on the walls of a narrow street in the Marais. Over a period of 4 years, Philippe Baudelocque drew his cosmic animals here in chalk, at 25 rue du Pont-aux-choux: there were 25 in all.

Philippe Baudelocque’s work thrives on correspondences and resonances. His cosmic animals are never imposing or overbearing, despite their size. Contemplating them triggers reminiscences of disturbing intensity: of a time when the universe was a cosmos: an ordered, self-sufficient whole. Of a time when wisdom was an imitation of the world. Of a time when imitation was the ultimate virtue, ethical and aesthetic. Of a time when cathedrals and towns sought to reflect the order of the world. Topography is essential to Philippe Baudelocque’s work. His desire to draw works of art on walls, condemning them to gradual disappearance over time or to deliberate destruction, is a fundamental element of his method. It reflects this lost ancient topography that placed human beings at the center of the universe, considering them to be microcosms established within the macrocosm; a time when the ability to reflect the harmony of the world constituted mankind’s main quest. To imitate the world’s beauty, we must turn ourselves into a vessel for it; like these walls that accommodate Philippe Baudeloque’s works; like their strength and energy that reciprocally permeate the artist and fuel his work.

The strength and energy of love order the cosmos, which consists of concentric spheres. These spheres are endowed with souls; these souls are driven by love. Before being relegated to a mere passion of the soul, love had long been the ultimate driving force of the cosmos. The cosmological revolution in the 17th century decentred the earth, tore the universe apart to infinity, erased the distinction between the earthly and the celestial world, depriving us of any possible topography. Philippe Baudelocque’s animals remind us of that time when we had not yet the painful experience of an indifferent universe. Their cartography is soothing: it mimics the order of the constellations, their harmony, their beauty and their perfect balance. Philippe Baudeloque’s ephemeral cosmic animals invite us to question our modern conception of the world.

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