The Last Occitan Butcher Stall

The core of the Estivada 2005 in Rodez was the music, but the other arts were also represented — the visual arts in a wonderfully funny & yet disturbing fasion via Claude Merle’s very realistic yet always slightly twisted life-size polyester resin figures & installations he refers to as “Les Voisins,” “The Neighbors.” The butcher stall above was wedged between two actual booths & so it was always an odd little surprise to pass by or to sit with friends at the table just in front of it (& interesting to watch people either realize with a jolt what this was or walk by without noticing anything strange). Here’s a close up of old Bouchard the butcher (there were more flies on the table in front of his stall than anywhere else — even those critters seem to have been fooled by the representation of blood aand dead animal abâts.)

In the bookshop there was another set of hilarious/hideous figures under the satirical banner of “Let’s remain French”:

or, seen from a different angle:

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