Complete with marionette puppets and a miniature theater, and first shown at the Newport Harbor Art Museum in 1991, The Philosopher’s Suite is a meditation on the Marquis de Sade’s Philosophy in the Bedroom (1793). Each of the mutilated puppets represents the six characters from Sade’s controversial book. The puppet represented here is the main character, Eugenie, who is recast by the artist as the late French photographer Pierre Molinier. By bringing together the fictional character and the real individual, Blake not only reverses gender roles but erases the distinction between what is real and fictional. By giving life to the characters in the book, Blake explores the act of reading and the act of thinking as performance.
Copyright 1998 Walker Art Center