At times touching on an almost Franciscan simplicity, Luciano Fabro’s sculptures have not become a matter of austerity. Associated with Arte povera since 1967, the Italian artist chooses the noblest of poor materials. Indeed, it is the weight of a marble cylinder that presides over the representation of a myth. In contrast to classical statues, the sculptor wraps the material in an image, for the engraved image of Sisyphus is wrapped around this stone cylinder. Coated like a segment of a Greek column, the cylinder-seal has just imprinted in the flour the ithyphallic and sarcastic portrait of the ancient hero. By imagining in the place of this man overwhelmed under the weight of his rock a powerful and laughing hero, Luciano Fabro proposes the (re)enjoyment of man as a possible way out of the absurdity of his sorrows. What was an infernal torment becomes a pleasure because it is at the end of the roller that Sisyphus laughs and gets a kick.
A human sculpture as much as a cosmic one, for at the two bases of the “rolling pin” appear in gold inlays the celestial votes North and South. The precious metal, an alchemical symbol of eternity, fixes here the axis of revolution of an everyday tool. The eternity of the marble coincides perfectly with that of the myth. The whole expression of this sculpture lies in its immobility. It is after having pushed the marble cylinder that Sisyphus reveals himself completely. Luciano Fabro fixes the moment when the rock has finished sliding down, the moment when the supplicant stops to start again. This pause, understood by Camus as the awakening of consciousness, is eternalized by Fabro’s sculpture. It consecrates the moment when Sisyphus is stronger than his rock.