From the beginning of this project I knew I would have to film Syrinx at the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia, the largest collection of the artist’s work outside Paris. Debussy knew Auguste Rodin, and both signify the artistic genius and ferment of their time. When Rodin came under attack for his statue of Balzac, Debussy was among the signatories of a petition in its defense, along with Claude Monet and Georges Clemenceau.
I decided to play from behind The Three Shades, a masterpiece from the 1880s which Rodin designed to top his monumental The Gates of Hell. The three figures represent death, sleep, and a loss of consciousness. Shades inhabit the underworld in Greek mythology.