The « dé-nouage » that I describe on these pages started in September 2013 when I painted the blue key on the wall of monkeys. I realized later it represented the inside of my brain.
Then I reconsidered my dream of July; a dream I’ll tell hereafter.
Dream of July, 22nd 2013
« I lose my white shoe going up a concrete and spiral stair outdoor.
On the first floor, a police station. The police officers, pleasantly, authorize me to pick up my shoe.
I go back down the staircase towards a large star-shaped place with five streets in gray paving stones. It is nearly dark.
I see my mother running towards a street. She looks like a little black ball on the asphalt. She is squatting.
I approach, she smiles at me. More closely, I see her still squatting in a water puddle which has dug a hole of a few centimeters.
I jump in this hole which become at this moment 1.80 meters deep! I’m knee-deep in water.
Mom takes a stone and hold it under my feet to help me to go up.
Suddenly two men in overcoats like those of policemen or gangsters in old movies are standing above the hole.
One of the men is holding a gun to shoot me.
I wake up. »
The same day I send my mother a email about my dream and ask her who these two men can be.
She answers that she does not know and that I should not worry, nobody wants to kill me.
A few days later, I decide that these two men are the brain damaged men that I painted 15 years ago shaped in monoliths.
October, 13th 2013
After several tests for this couple of « racailles », I decide to draw them in an ellipse, then to reduce them, thus transform them into thought, dream, virtual.
Then I decide to get them out of the painting.
October, 20th 2013
Finally, I did not do anything on the 2 « loubards », I keep on thinking.
For the bodies of the mother and the daughter, I choose yellow ocher, burnt sienna, white and cobalt blue.
October, 21st 2013
I decide to rub them out of the painting and to remake them on another very strongly framed material.
For that, I draw a second couple, larger than the first one, on my whiteboard and I use the same tracing-paper as for the small couple.
October, 22nd 2013
On the tracing-paper, I am attracted by the fact that the pockets are superimposed. And I wonder: « what is there in these pockets? »
The answer will come to me as an obviousness one week later.
October, 23rd 2013
For the couple of « voyous », I take again the colours of « Brains damaged » 1998, black and white paints on a black and red background.
October, 25th 2013
I draw this sketch: « Le coup du couteau sur le cou (The stab on the neck) ». The hand with the knife reminds me of a hand with a knife that I painted in 2012 and modestly borrowed from the representation of Abraham by Caravaggio in « the sacrifice of Isaac ».
I had already mentioned a knife on a neck in a photomontage in 2001, which I transform to the point to make the blade disappear on the neck which had turned blue like fear.
I was not then conscious of the link between this photomontage and the aggression described in this essay, nor in my series of metal « Tamed points » of 2003.
And I think of the knife between the two eyes in the series « Les règles de l’art » in 1998.
In this series, I find a link between the knife and the monthly periods, and I see a similarity between the sculpture « Les règles de l’art » and the sculpture « wounded Niobid » used for red and black painting above mentioned.
I had chosen this image because it evoked treason to me. Now, it also evokes the loss of children for me.
Thanks to the judicious comment of a visitor at the opening of an exhibition in 1998: « it’s more like a hemorrhage that periods », I thought what my mother had told me on her many self-made abortions with knitting needles and the bleeding that followed. She told me that these foetucide manipulations had weakened her and made her lose by miscarriage, a pair of twins she wanted to keep. I am born of the next egg that would not have existed if the twins were born.
I told this history in 2008 in « Eggs »: a pair of twins steel in eggs on the right, and on the left, the 3 placentas, the dead twins. I imagine that I am the woman on the beach at my birth.
*in French, it’s the same word « règles » for « rules » and « monthly periods »
MY MOTHER IN MY HEAD
Today, my mother says to me that these abortions have continued after my birth and assures me that I could not have witnessed them but I could be impressed by the enormous quantity of blood that she was losing (abusing aspirin against her migraines) each month, because the disposable sanitary pads did not exist and I attended the washing of her blood-soaked towels.
I used to have very strong menstrual pains, cysts on and in ovaries, and I lost very little blood and very late, 15 years. I do not have any memory of the first day of my periods, but I remember that at the high school, when I had my periods, I sat at the back of the classroom because I was smelling bad or imagined I was smelling bad, like the smell of a corpse. Extremely fortunately, they used to last only a day or two.
The act of painting this image « my mother in my head » did not stop my pains associated with the menstruations, having a child of my own actually made these pains stop.
This story of blood flowing, already appears in one of my first painting (not dated, maybe 1977 or 1980), transformed into a lamp in 2003 and aptly named by a friend: « quarter of an hour before the menopause ». This late adaptation confirms the relationship between the knife and the menstruations.
October, 26th 2013
Let’s get back to our topic, I restore my painting « brains damaged », I remake the coating with the sand of the half-sphere symbolizing me in this circumstance, and inadvertently, I pull away a small polystyrene ball on the black rectangle representing Charlie at Saint Raphaël in 1973. Ooops! I try to stick it back but I use a glue dissolving polystyrene. Ooops again! I hesitate to pull away the second small ball!
I have a good photography of the version with balls, so I allow myself to cut this ball off. I don’t know what to do with it. I leave it on the kitchen table, I forget it and Eole will do the rest.
Between this abstract version and this earlier sketch, the black penis disappeared and the white one strongly decreased.
October, 29th 2013
November, 27th 2013
In 1978, pregnant with the child of an adorable brown-haired Swedish, I decided to have an abortion, the law that authorized this in France was recent (1975) and I have a very serene memory of that moment, the whole medical community was joyful.
I later had a child I really wanted. I hope that this law will never be put into question.
As for rape, I do not remember having suffered physically, but I was terribly afraid.
My daughter in my head…a week before her birth.
My thanks to Virginie and Julien for their valuable translation assistance.