"Stalking Balzacs" at MoMA

Brittni Zotos
Nov 26, 2012 6:00AM

It took Auguste Rodin seven years to complete Monument to Balzac, commissioned to commemorate the venerated French writer. Rodin developed numerous drawings and clay studies as he explored various representations of Balzac, while also studying his life and writings. In these studies and the final sculpture, which depicts Balzac draped in a robe he often wrote in, it is apparent that Rodin sought to imbue the statue with a sense of the writer’s creative spirit, rather than attempt to capture a physical likeness. The statue was not well-liked by the public when it was initially presented, and it was not until 22 years after Rodin’s death that his Monument to Balzac was cast in bronze and placed in public at the intersection of Boulevard Raspail and Montparnasse in Paris.  

Above, watch John Miserendino’s “Stalking Balzacs” play off Rodin’s colossal Monument to Balzac, located in MoMA’s atrium since 2004, and mimic the movements of wandering museum visitors.  

Video was taken at PopRally: Recess at MoMA on November 10, 2012. See previous post for a closer look at this event.  

Brittni Zotos