This work by Louise Bourgeois is exhibited at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and when I saw it I felt like a punch in my stomach.
The installation is formed by a circular room with two doors from which the visitor can look inside. In the room there are various elements: an iron bed, two black spheres on the ground with a black man’s coat above them (making a phallic shape), a light on the floor, and a series of drop-shaped glass spheres. Here you can see a view of the installation, to better understand how it’s made.
The “precious liquids” of the title are all the liquids that the human being produces when feeling strong emotions: blood, sweat, sperm, urine, tears. The coat represents her father, who cheated on her mother when she was a child. The bed is a clear allusion to what happened.
Outside the installation there a sentence: “Art is a guaranty of sanity”. This is a powerful message to everyone that sees the installation, because it spreads the truth of the healing power of art. It means that for the artist art can be a resource to find sanity in a world of pain: can it be a medicine?