Pierre Giquel

Stretchers are waltzing

The world is stalled. Like an engine can be. It seems to be pitching and jumping about. That is just before the stalling. A thousand noises can be heard, disorder reigns. Fearing the catastrophe one endeavours to fill the breach. And suddenly a gesture liberates a breath, blood is flowing again, we become supple and can rise towards the sky. We are enjoying ourselves. In fact, the world has resurrected itself and won back its colours.

            As in the world’s imagery, for Philippe Richard and Egide Viloux, painting and its exposure orchestrate themselves like a hellish round. Joyful, unsteady, distorted and sure, improvised and precise even with a hint of meticulousness (which is the price of the renewal of the flame, while the scent of Jazz isn’t far away). Several kinds of blood are agitating themselves here. Accordingly, and due to the brief the painters have given themselves, one gets a feeling for some of the drastic decisions they adopted during the process of making. Like this, whether recent or not, one can ask the question as to whether the history of art in itself shouldn’t be questioned on her views and affirmations. In this sense revived and somewhat perverted in a traditional distribution of the roles, worried in its supports. Thus easily swept along her many surfaces. In this sense, the gait easily lends itself to a modern form of overflowing. Partner swapping ! So ? One cheerfully exchanges a toccata for a nervous waltz – bluntly iconoclastic.

            Clearly, it takes two to have this affair. Certainties and doubts grow out of this  association making the experience remain a free one. The appropriate instruments are gathered – precise. As in this case of surgery requiring an optimum visibility. But in this case : no space left for precaution, too late for minimizing decisions. Let’s throw ourselves into cold water and sweep along the others. Let’s change roles in order to amplify or extend certain gestures. Let’s love the uncontrollable !

            Just watching. Watching this waltz nourishing itself from straight lines and venomous bends, from sensuous curves, pierced rectangles, from wood and fractured fabrics, all of which are assembled together. As categories, sculpture and painting find themselves echoed back to back, provoking unlikely coition, monstrosities all the more dangerous since they have dared to take the traits of elegance. Whilst reading this insolent, frankly uncomplicated partition, I surprise myself dreaming about propositions exceeding my competence as a watcher. I imagine peace treaties about to be signed overnight whilst the fires of a secular combat are still smoking. The artistic engagement is lived right through, with no strings attached. However, with the contact of the figures the abstraction shivers though without batting an eyelid.

            Usually, it is quite rare to hear laughter erupting from such display. Though I confess that I did not attempt to hide it, it is more as if I didn’t defend myself for an attitude which could be perceived as too light. For it is in this lightness intercepted by these works sensitive to vacillation, that I believe I can identify what usually escapes the attention. A noise, which arrives authoritatively between cacophony and calmness.

            There are ghosts that make the landscape turn livid. The ghosts of the art are numerous, insidious and ravenous reptiles. In order to avoid the congealing venoms, the pace must be quick and alert, the mobility eased. Along with these necessary spaces comes a strong amplitude. Philippe Richard and Egide Viloux have given themselves this swing. They deal with it without becoming either confirmed devotees or teachers. Each one of them is firmly positioned, generously, merry, always ready to turn the painting into a pretext for striding along, always promptly finding an occasion to drop one’s trousers. Instant folding-unfolding, each one tracing whims for a general demobilisation of «  good taste ». Measure and theoretical constraints deserve some beautiful havoc !

             Each period clutters itself with severity. The raw models are their compulsory passage and the malediction. Some will prefer the delectation of a detachment. Sometimes the break-up can be bloody, sometimes muddled perhaps even hesitant. This is not an Oedipal affair. The break-up is well consummated, without pain, without dogmas. Humour is like a nosy fox, which seems to have taken its time interfere between the two patrols, the two wardens. Taking advantage of a moment of distraction from the factions on duty, our duo strikes up the stretchers’ waltz on a new, vivid tune. In accompanying them, we are giving ourselves the opportunity to still love. By touching one another lightly.

Pierre Giquel, 2005