« On that particular Tuesday, I woke up at the soulless and graceless hour where night ends while dawn hasn’t yet been born. Awaken with a start, I wanted to rush into a cab and race to the train station, I felt like I had to leave, but at the last minute I painfully understood there was no train in the station for me, that no time had come. »
(…) Since as you may imagine, at that time, I hadn’t yet figured out whether something had really happened. Whether someone had lived there, found refuge within these walls, if only, maybe, for a short while, upon a temporary visit. Whether, during that peculiar, individual, I might say, occupation of space, an important encounter had taken place. In front of these large curtain-less windows, close to a photographic chamber pushed to a corner, between an armchair disguised as a deck-chair and an old Bertoia chair. Whether an encounter could have taken place, you know. Or a drama arisen. An extreme situation. The first step towards a crisis that would have hatched out, gone increasing, ceaselessly, most easily, without ever faltering, until it climaxed. Thus bringing an ongoing time to a halt, you see : the idea of an implosion.
Or else, why-ever not, let’s refrain, shall we, from hasty outcomes, the sole expression of a word, a thought, that would have allowed, this sort of thing happens, the imprint and the load of a few sentences, barely a few words, to linger on site, for an indeterminate amount of time. I didn’t know then, I have to admit, whether this sensation of both absence and presence, of full and hollow intertwined, this impression of eeriness that I felt, instantly, as I walked in, could have been the sign of - what, how could I put it - a lost presence ? A forgotten life ? A mystery to uncover. An existence to re-write. To reconsider. As fairly as possible. You see, a little like in one of Thibault Hazelzet’s photographic series. Annunciation. Ascension. Last Judgement. The Parable of the Blind…
I therefore opened the door, I tell you. An odd silence deafened me. The place was deserted. Neat but abandoned. Frozen in a configuration that allowed any and all interpretation, really, except for the event of chance. Someone had been there. Had lived there. And as soon as the door opened, the brightness of the light striking my face, these words by Bram van Velde. Clear and unexpected. Like a voice bursting out. A strange incantation. « I need to go towards the illogical. This world we live in destroys us. It is always governed by the same laws. You have to create images that don’t belong to it. That are totally different from those it presents us ». Virulence of our inner upsurges. What can I say.
I closed the door behind me. My mind filled with these words that had been put into motion again. For a few minutes, they kept on circling like a swarm of wasps. Something was happening. It was undeniable. A chain reaction, as if activated. As I stood motionless, right in the middle of that blanket of silence that kept on getting thicker. That’s where I saw them. Coming out of nowhere. Scattered in a totally implausible manner. Various densities throwing the here and now off balance, creating warping phenomenons. Mulled and hectic. You see. Standing out in space. On a wall or on a base. Tall ones. Smaller ones. Fluid. Running, fraying, captured on the move.
Wild, dignified, fierce and aristocratic all at once. Rough though refined. You see. They seemed to want to hide out from my gaze. I pretended to go on my way. Walking around them as I could, and towards, in the back, in some sort of alcove, a few frames : Hans Bellmer, Pierre Molinier, Arnulf Rainer. And on the floor, right beside them, heaps of fabric, loose, clothes, graphite rods, oil sticks. And then, before I came back towards these presences that had seemed to come to life behind me — I could feel them moving — I saw, in another recess of the chamber, a group of Mumuye statues. Imagine my surprise : they were looking straight into my eyes. (…)
Manuel Piolat Soleymat - That no time had come
Writer and theatre critic at La Terrasse, Manuel Piolat Soleymat has written, amongst others, Trois Surprises à Bord du Bahnhof Zoo (Galaade Editions, 2011) and Les Amours vulnérables de Desdémone et Othello (Archimbaud Editeur – Riveneuve Editions, 2013).