She Always Forgot That the Earth Is Damp

Louise Bourgeois’ Subjectivity, City and Language


  • Maria Gil Ulldemolins Hasselt University, the Architecture and Art Faculty



French artist Louise Bourgeois (1911- 2010) moved to New York, where she would reside the rest of her life, immediately after her marriage, in 1938. As a newcomer, a new wife, and a new mother, Bourgeois spent the first few years of her American life trying to balance domesticity and artistic practice. She resorted to producing prints, which afforded her certain flexibility compared to other medium. In 1947, Bourgeois created a small, printed booklet of illustrated parables, He disappeared into complete silence. This project, originally conceived as a way of inserting herself into the creative fabric of the city, proved to be a pivotal point for the artist. In it, Bourgeois presents a cast of anthropomorphised buildings, revealing a relationship between architecture and pathos. Bourgeois’ architectural characters have been well-studied. This essay, though, wants to emphasise the way architectural and personal affect are explored in Bourgeois’ texts for the booklet, and the way the artist juxtaposes visual and textual language.

Author Biography

Maria Gil Ulldemolins, Hasselt University, the Architecture and Art Faculty

Maria Gil Ulldemolins is an artistic PhD candidate in the Architecture and Art faculty of Hasselt University, Belgium. Her research focuses on the secular survival of Catholic images and narratives; using the depictions of swooning Virgins as a recurrent figure to anchor an intimate exploration of collapse. She recently co-founded, together with Kris Pint and Nadia Sels, Passage, a research project and peer-reviewed journal for creative-critical, autotheoretical academic work.


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