L a c r i m a e
Curated by Steen Heidemann
These pictures affixed to the stone walls of the 12th century Romanesque chapel at le Château de Fontaine-Henry are a short stretch from the beaches where they mark seventy years since the events of June 6, 1944, commencing the Battle of Normandy and the Liberation of France.
The act of memorializing tragic events in works of creativity is a way to remember to honor and if possible to redeem them. In a modest way these elegiac drawings offer a reflection on the human situation in our own time, pointing to the necessity of heroic sacrifice as the condition for new life and hope. As the poet recollects the carnage of the Trojan War in The Aeneid: Sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt. - These are the tears of things, and our mortality cuts to the heart.
The exhibition offers a selection of some thirty three mixed media drawings and paintings that retrace the footsteps of Jesus along the ViaDolorosa as a reminder that the events of the past resonate even now in our post modern age. The artworks together with the recollection of this suffering of the innocent are like so many tears that water the rebirth of new life out of death and ruin. Or in the words of Pape François: Reconnaître le visage du Christ dans celui qui souffre.
These works by American artist James Langley are made possible in part by a Presidential Fellowship Award from the Savannah College of Art and Design, curated by Steen Heidemann from the Faces of Christ Collection and hosted by the Marquis d’Oilliamson at Château de Fontaine-Henry.