Friday Heirloom 2018

Friday Heirloom 69: Giacometti Institute, Paris

Check out the Highlights of September here

Have the courage to open up to the world: freedom takes nothing but persistence.


Cover Photo: Selfie with Giacometti, Giacometti Institute, Paris

Last night I had a dream. I was running through the Highway to Hell when a cat cut my way… What’s the thing about cats, really? And specifically, black cats?

Common beliefs where I’m from associate black cats with misfortune, and a black cat crossing the street before you is the epitome of hell. It’s really bad.


A snap of Giacometti’s studio

But then my eyes met his eyes and I realized he was just as scared as I was. Nothing good can come out of a pitch black night, starless and cloudless, only us on the road.

Yes, me and this black cat trying to make it through the night.

As I slowly peaced out and resigned myself to the idea of having to share the road with this cat, I realized that, yet, we were not alone. A black figure was with us, a black stick figure I saw standing on the porch of a house not far away. What was it?

I got closer, the cat still in front of me, cautiously following all my movements, and I read a description: an inverted “y”. What a bizarre name for such a beautiful piece. It was about 50 inches tall and made of bronze, I believe.


The Standing Woman by Giacometti, 1957 (Photo Credit:

I think the turbulent Ford-Kavanaugh hearing I was reading about the night before on Twitter might have influenced my perceptions and my dreams. Was it a dream, really? The sculpture seemed so real to me, I could touch it and feel the roughness of it. It was thin, yet sturdy.

That’s when I was  so close to it, close enough to see an inscription on the side: Alberto Giacometti. Yes, it was the Standing Woman.

I was so naive! How could I not have realized it was his! And what a marvellous context! Alberto Giacometti was a genius. It took him 20 years (from 1945 to 1965) of research on space and representation to come up with the beautiful silhouettes he is worldwide known for.


A view of the Giacometti Institute and the beautiful sculptures 

The Standing Woman is free and bold. There’s nothing controlling her, nothing holding her back, not one thing around her but a pedestal that lifts her from the ground. She is she and she’s not locked in a cage like some other figures designed by Giacometti.

And that’s what I saw in my dream.

As all these thoughts run through my head, I woke up. My head hurt. The cat… What happened to him? I had to see more of it. There had to be more!

The only place to see more like the Standing Woman was the newly established Giacometti Institute, located at 5 Rue Victor Schœlcher in the 14th arrondissement of Paris. There, Giacometti lived and worked throughout his career.

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