Art or Fiction?

"The fiction of the anatomy, it tickles me."—Bill T. Jones, choreographer and director

Gian Lorenzo Bernini (Italian, 1598–1680). Bacchanal: A Faun Teased by Children, 1562–1629. Marble. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, Fletcher, Rogers, and Louis V. Bell Funds, and Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, by exchange, 1976 (1976.92). Learn more about this object.

How does the sculpted body communicate? Hear from Met experts, leading authorities, and rising stars, each with a unique viewpoint on the language of gesture, facial expression, and pose.

See all viewpoints:
Join the conversation: #MetViewpoints

Bill T. Jones: One of the most difficult things as a dance maker is to keep things really moving and legible. And I'm really impressed how all of the elements are dancing together so beautifully in this.

How does one do ecstasy and joy, you know? I love how he has made a lot of fiction work. This satyr would have a very short torso. The fiction of the anatomy, it tickles me. That short torso, the way this leg is sort of coming out. If I were to do that, my leg would have to be coming out somewhere here, right underneath my rib cage. And as we can see, there's quite a bit of difference. But his thigh is sort of connected right here, and yet, we don't care. It works.

I wonder if it was intended to be looked at so closely? It's just—it's an event. Everything is falling or growing or stretching. And once again, it gives you the feeling you're at a party, and that maybe you, too, are drunk.

Related Videos