To starve and to assuage ,
an aesthetic and political slogan
Be cautious however, setting codes can distort the truth
Translating the physical subjectivity by using words is a very difficult task. Does this mean that we cannot attempt to approach the meaning of a work, not through pictorial transliteration but simply through words? No doubt some dimensions will be overlooked, but let us look away and turn for a while attention towards the words. We will eventually talk about ourselves and not « write about ». Certainly dialogue would be preferable. But only if we do not forget to physically face this dialogue. We, really feel like biting. Because we know it is possible: Michèle Victor shows a way.
First are the bars. Then a key, solid, let us catch it. Life is at the end. A recurring scheme, each time differently suggested, takes shape as we explore her work. This scheme comes within a space-time. On one side, what does exist. On the other side, what should exist. In between, the way going from one to the other side. This artificial dividing line is but language. The major part of the paintings condenses those three stages: mental derangement or knowledge, anarchy and revolution or humanity of a well being society.
Suggesting… thanks to the matter. A sort of construction and deconstruction game. Her paintings give things the right to exist, and give other things the obligation to remain silent, to be exterminated. Familiar forms originate from the matter. They take us by the hand, guide us through the paintings, soothes for a while the world’s violence by opening up breaches, transcend contradictions, renders at last within our reach universe of possibilities by scoffing at the bleak coffin of the permitted. Anarchy is not so far. Golden transmutation of our fleeting hopes…
When the artist collaborates with the substance, it is to give it a contestable form. She attaches and then explodes some symbols and flagship figures of the spectacle-commodity society. She twists these images, gives them a poetical sense, leaves them as lifeless archetypes and pushes them to the boundaries of the being and of the social world too. However, revolt will find its conditions of fulfillment in knowledge. Therefore the responses are few and far between and the choice will stand at the questioning level: of the world, of the observer (if he/she is not just a viewer) or self-questioning. Her atomized Prometheus leads to question the instrumental reason and demonstrates the essential control of rational knowledge.
Doubt is then an integral part of such a work though it can hardly be detected. It disappears into the exacerbation of the artist’s desire for freedom. Every painting reflects this chaotic and sublime display of the Nietzsche thirst for infinite insubordination. At the same time the compromise vanishes. Fantasizing is never expressed as such: imagination will not break up from the sticky mildness of reality. The dream is not this burning fire, hardly visible, far off: the dream is a stolen treasure; a buried treasure. Shortly it will be shared… or swallowed up for ever, scattered in the abyssal zone of the human being, the thinking, the world.
Spreading the insurrectionary knowledge is a concern expressed in her work. Some «societal headings » reminds us of this concern. Starting from what is, bringing out of it the subversive potential, in order to consider the tools for a radical transformation. It looks as if her characters do everything possible to escape from coercive frameworks… just as a desire to be beyond the general laws of reification. Their desire of radical subjectivity each time concerns us. Disseminating this desire: walls do it, public authorities undo it… fear probably… it is virtually certain. Actually, would the line developed by Michèle Victor’s work point out that libertarian poetics is de facto the only one to live, incinerating the already cold body of ultra-free market mechanics. No diversions. We want it all, will be all and will do all, at once.
Florent Jammes (Sociologist) November 2006