Living statue  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The term living statue refers to a mime artist who poses like a statue or mannequin, usually with realistic statue-like makeup, sometimes for hours at a time. It is an art that requires a great deal of patience and physical stamina.

Living statue performers have been known to pose as shop window mannequins in order to fool passers by, and a number of hidden camera shows on television have had living statues suddenly spring to life to startle people. As with all performing arts, living statue performers may perform as buskers or in commissioned shows. Some living statues are also invited to perform in fine arts exhibitions.

History

The tableau vivant, or group of living statues, was a regular feature of medieval and Renaissance festivities and pageantry, such as royal entries by rulers into cities. Typically a group enacting a scene would be mounted on an elaborate stand decorated to look like a monument, placed on the route of the procession. A living statue appeared in a scene of the 1945 French masterpiece film Les enfants du paradis (Children of Paradise), and early living statue pioneers include the London-based artists Gilbert and George in the 60s. In the early years of the 20th century, the German dancer Olga Desmond put on “Evenings of Beauty” (Schönheitsabende) in which she posed nude in imitation of classical works of art ('living pictures').



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Living statue" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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