Twenty-four hours in the workshop
What a light this morning ! It is eight o’clock. The sun rises over the Atlas mountains. I lower the blinds to the east. I open the windows to the north. A donkey is braying, sheeps are grazing on the hill.
Without any hesitation. I take the appropriate brushes, spread out the colors on the board that serves as a palette. I roll a cigarette, I settle in front of the canvas. I am there. I start again, modify, reframe, accentuate. Enthusiasm and disappointment follow one another. I could not care less, I know that I will be able to reach what is still hidden, it will blind me from one moment to the next. It is the canvas that indicates to me the next gestures to make. It’s the canvas that tells me what to do. A sick tango, two steps back, three on the side, keep your breath, I love it. Less there, more here, the light, the rhythm, the intensities, I charge forward, nothing must escape. I scrutinize, step back again, it works there but suddenly it shifts elsewhere, be careful not to lose everything, frame/outside frame, it must pulsate everywhere and remain whole, neglect nothing. I step back, check, start again, and it keeps going for as long as it takes. Six, seven hours, I don’t count. Without a break.
I cannot see anymore. Well, I stop. I clean the equipment and move on to other adventures.
Read, write, sing, dance.
Stay closer to nature without copying it,
see, make what enchants be seen.
Give back to lofe what it grants us in abundance,
the sparkle of stars in your eyes, the sun on my skin.
Nothing to be done and it’s like that every day, I come back a few hours later, just to measure the state and condition of the work. Jeez, it’s obvious. With chalk, I mark what needs to be redone, there and there, I scribble, cross out, underline. that is terrible, that is brilliant. Champollion could get lost in this maze of hieroglyphics. Not me.
Well, this time, I’ll stop for today. That’s what I tell myself. Until in the night, it rushes at full speed, colors, features, in 2, 3, 4D, wow, nothing to be done, it rushes in the dark, a crazy cinema. Breathe, drink a liter of water, sleep.
What a light this morning ! It is eight o’clock. I run to the workshop. It’s raining. I raise the blinds to the east. The windows on the north side diffuse just the right amount of light. There is no hesitation. No hesitation whatsoever. When I woke up, I found the solution, the one that will break the seal. I giggle a little at having drawn that line yesterday, having scribbled that corner of the canvas with chalk, it was almost perfect, but not like this. I hum in the silence of the workshop.
The responsibility of the artist : the stand he takes, even though he is entangled in History and in his own history. What choice to make, what willpower is at stake? Does he want to be understood, make things understood, does he have as a solution only that of a visionary step which consists in going far ahead, as far as possible, in an initiatory course, an initiator. What is it about: onirism, onanism, genius intuitions?
Excluding illiteracy in the creative space neutralizes the foolish improvisations, the neurotic expressions, the absurd clutter of clichés, and the waste of fashion and its models. Appropriating the great icons, exorcising them since they hypnotize us. Inventing, so that what kills creation disappears from the studio : the commercial value, the weight of criticism, and the despair they induce.
The resort to the anecdote, the exploitation of the parody, the political manifesto, discourses are elements which risk to destroy the singularity of a creative expression. It will be a matter of resolving, by transcending it, the conflicting confrontation between objective reality and a particular sensibility. To freely structure the work, to reject any preconceptions, to free oneself from the weight of the symbols – the anatomical truth, the naturalism, the truthalism, etc. Maybe then, we will know how to define an artistic act.
Western art would be a journey from the ideal to the real, from the real to the abstract, and from the abstract to the possible. What are we waiting for ? By dint of waiting for tomorrow, here we are stiff, crippled with rheumatism, wishing that it would be over, that we would be embalmed and exhibited in the museum of Man. By what right should art be inscribed in a permanence aiming at immortality, at universality ? Supreme idealistic vanity.
Everything is destined to disappear. How could we possibly ignore that!
Neither old today nor future redemption,
just an adventure that starts right now.