When painting, time seems to dissolve deep into essences and pigments. Inexorably, hours become seconds. There is something sacred there, a work of fluids that sends us back to the functioning of our bodies, an uncontrollable matter that we guide and which brings us to our souls.
However, when it comes to painting, we always forget to mention the most important element; the one who inscribes the works in time, an invisible link, a fragile, ultra-sensitive divinity: Air. The air oxidizes the paint, it freezes the movement. Its composition allows color by accepting to be pierced by light. It is the vector of all words, the fuel of our movements, it is the filter of our minds. In Ouidah, people talk about the air, consider it a force in its own right. He respects him and fears him.
The Villa Ajavon: the Museum is a symbol. Everything is connected here, there is no place for lies. The works summon each other. They benefit from sublime natural light and fresh air currents crossing the exhibition halls on both sides through large ebony windows. The scholar-guides make the works exist through their singular speeches, unlike the silent guards of our Western museums. The Villa Ajavon is monumental proof that the art world today needs to move towards a cult of life, both inexplicable and obvious.
Residence in Ouidah: adding reality was the goal to achieve during my residence in Benin. It was necessary to confront the ideas with the purity of the materials and that of the men in order to bring out a new painting. Nourished by ancestral gestures, a way of painting thanks to the movements of the bodies, thanks to the sounds of the voice. In Ouidah, humanity has this generous propensity to probe the soul with a single glance. From the elders to the youngest, all are highly learned. They alone hold an age-old knowledge of the secrets of the moon, advised by their ancestors. We then know the price of silence. ! Metamorphoses take place in action. Some children, who arrived at the workshop with a fear of novelty, left with a smile on their face and full of stories to tell. The next day, they brought with them other children, intrigued by what was happening at my house. I was thus accompanied in my painting by about fifty children. We invented a way to communicate together through animal noises, and slogans; the paintings then seemed to emerge from another time, from another world. Where measurements are useless and things have no name.
To conclude, I would quote Fernando Pessoa:
"A row of trees over there, over there towards the hillside.
But what is a row of trees? Trees and that's it.
Row and the plural trees are not things, they are nouns.
Sad human souls who bring order everywhere,
who draw lines from one thing to another,
who put signs with names on absolutely real trees,
and draw parallels of latitude and longitude on the earth itself,
the earth innocent and greener than all that"
"Noukoukou vodun nougbede vodun"
"What is dead is not dead"