Page 25 - Studio International - June 1965
P. 25

Pol  Bury


                                                                                    atom  as  defined  by  Epicurus  and  made  explicit  by
                                                                                    Lucretius in the famous Book 11 of his De Rerum Natura:
                                                                                    'Atoms.  in  their  fall  through  space.  swerve  a  little  so
                                                                                    that their precise motion is neither predictable nor the
                                                                                    result  of  rigid  law·. This  c!inamen  principiorum,  from
                                                                                    which  Epicurus  deduced  the  creation  of  matter
                                                                                    (' ... an imperceptible "swerve" to cause the collisions
                                                                                    which  lead  to  the  formation  of  things  and  worlds').
                                                                                    deplored  as  an  archaic  aberration  by  Bergson,  finds
                                                                                    itself suddenly made not only  respectable  but  revolu­
                                                                                    tionary by the theorists of the nuclear age-Heisenberg
                                                                                    and  his  'indeterminacy  principle',  and,  more  recently
                                                                                    still. the postulation by Karl von Weizsacker and others
                                                                                    of a gigantic c!inamen applicable to the motion of the
                                                                                    stars within the galaxies ...
                                                                                     If  Pop  Art,  at its  best,  is  an  overt  expression  of  the
                                                                                    contemptuous boredom of a generation with the  pre­
                                                                                    tensions  of  contemporary  Western  civilisation,  Bury's
                                                                                    'sculpture' is. on the contrary, intrinsically  the art of our
                                                                                    time, the very symbol of our yearning for contact with
                                                                                    other worlds and other dimensions of space.
                                                                                     Simultaneously,  Bury  demonstrates  the  frailty  of  the
                                                                                    basis  upon  which  our  structures  of  reality  are  built:

                                                                                    the process which he calls 'cinematisation' and which
                                                                                    he applies to photographs-of people. objects, scenes­
                                                                                    and  to  reproductions  of  paintings,  involves  cutting
                                                                                    circles (sometimes concentric, sometimes separate) out
                                                                                    of them and then pasting them back just slightly awry
         9 balls on 5 balls planes  1964                                            so  that  the  Eiffel  Tower,  an  Ingres  nude,  a  Gothic
         100  x 20  x 45  cm.                                                       cathedral,  acquire  the  alarming  new  dimensions of  a
         Albright-Knox  Museum.                                                     world in slow but inexorable transformation.
         Buffalo.  N.Y.
                                                                                     Lord  Kelvin  invoked  Lucretius'  clinamen  when  he
         2                                                                          proposed  his  'kinetic  theory  of  matter'.  For  Bury,  as
         44  branches of hammered copper
         on black panel  1 9 6 3                                                    for  Lord  Kelvin's  contemporary  Alfred  Jarry,  that
         Copper  on  wood                                                           concept  signifies  the  very  principle  of  creation,  of
         69 x  52 x  14 cm.
         Lefebre Gallery.  New  York                                                reality  as  the  exception  rather  than  the  rule. Jarry's
         3                                                                          invented  science  of  pataphysics  was  specifically
         Detail  of  2  ,n  movement                                                intended 'to study the laws governing exceptions', and
         4                                                                          in this sense Bury's work, his 'mobile planes·, 'punctua­
         9  balls on a sloping plane 1 964                                          tions·. 'multi planes', 'erectile' and 'retractile entities· and
         100 x  66 x 40  cm.                                                        'cinematisations',  are  pure  demonstrations  of  that
         Collection:  Mr.  &  Mrs.                                                  'science which comprehends all other sciences·.   ■
         John  Le  Febre.  New  York
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