Après tout rien


Drawing, installation, sculpture

Après tout rien

Past: March 9 → May 5, 2012

I have paced up and down in limbo, lost the ground and travelled in mind.

When ? Where ? Well ?

The start is simple : a squadron of airships carrying houses. I left a bucolic, but rigid land, a nature turning into engraved landscapes, filled with deep black and stagnant water, which threatened this almost dead world. Anyway, a question of survival with the resources we have got: pre-scientific but not high-tech objects, aged from another time, ballasted by our houses that seemed too heavy for those airborne masses. It is in this fiddled flying shed, like my fellows’, that I got to the sky.

No signal ; More no signal ; Escape

I left this sterile world, this media winter on these mini-zeppelins. My visual landscape was reduced to a TV snow where it became useless to put the pieces together into infinite puzzles and to mask the central emptiness. I was feeling death slowly, for fear of leaving the nest to get out of the present bog. The rope is too rigid to haul up or hang yourself, however the scale is too soft to have any handholds that risks to fail under the weight of the prisoner and drag him into a well with no life and no bottom. Here is the world I am leaving, I have nothing to do there: When? Where? Well? So what? …. We will see what the future holds. I am leaving.

A far l’amore comincia tu, und tanze Samba mit mir ; le Cyclope

I come alongside a mineral and icy, but fresh, pure and demanding country. It is Another World, lunar and geometric where the sharp edges of the objects mean that for the traveller there is no time to hesitate and avoid questions. The shapeless snow and the picture are replaced with a spiritual and formal demand. Two guards, two Sphinxes, keep the border of this new territory. First, I have to cross a door that is only a reflection and get through the mirror. The handles of this door-mirror belong to a coffin : I see myself standing, living, grabbing death, facing it in a dance of macabre, a quivering Samba. The test consists in pushing the door, facing my own reflection without having myself appealed by the kiss of death (Mors osculi), to be able to face my own end without getting caught and letting my body rot in this virtual coffin. I pass.

The second guard is a Cyclops. It is polyhedron granite roc. It reminds me of the one in the Melancholia engraving by Dürer. I have risked my body, now it is time for the soul. Lucidity is related to depression, intellectual demand may freeze the mind. Because the rigorous study and adventurous demand of elsewhere include a risk: the loss of illusions and the black mood. As I am curious, I lean to watch through the peephole. It is reflecting my own emptiness, my internal blackness — vertigo in front of a soul without bottom. I hold on and leave.

A glass banner, sort of sign of the Other World, welcomes me. It says: The threat did not come from the sky. It is the motto. This paradox actually surprises me: I thought I would find (in this sky) the solution of the sterility of the earth and the world I came from. But here, it is said that neither danger nor solution come from elsewhere. The threat comes from inside. The maxim says that we are not clear enough with ourselves, therefore the danger is the illusion of transparency and should be erased from our mind. The trip is internal too; it is the key to live in my world.

Ils restèrent longtemps là à se demander ce que cela signifiait exactement de posséder un monde.

I got it now! The world I entered into is related with the one from down below. It is its bottom, its own reflection, its core, they are close, but the Other one is pure. Then, in the mirror, a sentence appears “ _Objects in mirror are closer than they appear_ ”. Go through the other side, look at yourself and see the world reflecting itself. They would tell you the truth. I went to the other side of the mirror. It is in the other side of the mirror that thoughts can get deeper. Everything is clearer and closer; I have the strange feeling of being more receptive. We have to take the risk to go to the Other world and leave a life full of illusions in order to come back and possess the world we live in. We have to leave now, die in this world to be reborn in the other. I yell at my fellows: “The planet is ours, guys! The entire planet ”, I mean the planet Earth and engrave it on a granite stele. Sort of provocative challenge, marks left in the limbo for the next travellers in order to invite them to explore this world and its Scriptures and make them understand that at the end of the road, they need to come back. It would be dangerous to stay for a picnic of one billion years. Transitional spaces are spaces to pass through but not for living.

L’Horloge ; Sans-titre

I am back now. I don’t know how much time I spent in the Other World. When the space get weird, time stops and internal time is difficult to measure scientifically. Anyway, when I got back, the clock had lost its hands to start on a new basis. It is difficult to be reincarnated in a body and not sink in the sterile snow and stagnant waters, raise others lands and build new things. I am like a floating Christ, back from the Other World, on the way to reincarnation in a useful body. I am hanging from a cross, full of hope.

Emilie Bouvard
  • Sandra Aubry & Sébastien Bourg — Après tout rien Opening Friday, March 9, 2012 6 PM → 10 PM
De Roussan Gallery Gallery
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10, rue Jouye-Rouve

75020 Paris



Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, 2 PM – 7 PM
Other times by appointment

The artists