Denis Rouvre (born 1967) French Artist
Denis Rouvre likes bodies, wrinkles, crannies and crevices… He likes to expose the bodies as they are: Strong, intimate, hurted…
Among his series, I particularly like those with speaks about real body engagement: LAMB; WRESTLING STORY; SADHU, because it speaks about people and how they are dealing with their life, with something which defines each one of us: fight for decency. And it’s also what is about in the serie: LOW TIDE. Men and women get off the ground after chaos. (You can see Low tide exhibition currently in Pinacothèque, Paris)
Lamb (name of the Senegalese wrestling in Wolof language)
Here everyone aspires to become a living god. Nothing less. In the dark training rooms or on the beaches of the Dakar suburbs, where youngsters train themselves to Senegalese wrestling, everyone awaits feverishly the moment when they will have to wrestle under the burning sun, within the sand arena, in the middle of a stadium that gathers tens of thousands hungry spectators. In order to give them the strength to face their sparring partner, the marabou will coat the wrestlers’ bodies with a potion; he will pour milk on their torsos, their shoulders, their heads, he will start singing the ritual words to cast evil spells away. The amulets they wear will protect them. Then, they will have to strike their opponents. Should one put his weight on his two legs and two arms lie down on his back or fall out of the circle, then he will be defeated, or even worse, humiliated. Should one come out of the arena as a winner and the overexcited audience will acclaim him king. They might even become champions, wealthy and almost divine someday.