SANS VISAGE :: TRANSFORMATION OF THE FACE

drome Lần cập nhật cuối: 8 Tháng Tám, 2022

The world changes. Transformation is constant and only transformation permits consistence. We change. We get old. No we don’t get old, how can you say that 100 years is old when the world exist since – when ? I look at myself in the mirror. It look in myself. I am so young… But I am not anymore alike I was years ago. Was this me, this young girl living happily with no knowledge of what love really is ? This young doctor taking care of patients without caring her own body, was this me ? Was this me, this passionate and ignorant politician ?
No we do not age. We transform ourselves. We live, we learn, and slowly – so slowly – develop a feeling of what human existence is about. And if we don’t transform, we’re dead.
This is somehow the theme of Paul Ardenne‘s latest fiction. Paul Ardenne ? Isn’t he an art historian, critic and curator ? Yes but – also a writer. He tried hard… abandoned often. But writing never surrenders. And Grasset finally published Sans visage, twenty years after he submitted them his first fiction, later published elsewhere.
Sans Visage ? A woman died, somewhere in south-west rural France. They took her face.
Who would possibly want to take my face, the narrator asks himself driving south ?
Marie-Saintes’ face did not transform. It remained relentlessly radiant. The radiant face of Marie-Saintes. Marie tried everything she could, to transform her face. Even to sit on top of a high speed train to get her face altered by the speed and the wind. Nothing helped. She became the subject of the most high-end scientific studies – imagine, if we could put the secret of Marie-Saintes in a jar !
But we could not. So in the end, someone stole the radiant face of Marie-Saintes.
The narrator drives back after the funerals, with no answer. Just the facts, and his thoughts.
And we close the book with this bitter-sweet feeling : our face is our life. The millions of painters, photographers, mirrors… who since centuries represent our human faces would agree. And so would also the French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas.
Our face is our life. Don’t frieze it ! Lack of transformation irremediably leads to catastrophe. From DROME 1 to DROME’s latest issue. Any thing after that ? Yes but… it’s a secret yet ! Just another transformation of the face indeed. Of the self…

Barbara Polla
02.07.2012

Sans Visage by Paul Ardenne. Grasset, 2012
Cover DROME 01 – the TRANSFORMATION issue

Bài viết liên quan

BLACK MASS RISING ::
              SOUNDTRACK TO THE 2ND COMING

BLACK MASS RISING :: SOUNDTRACK TO THE 2ND COMING

CATASTROPHE :: Is it possible to show beauty in the darkness? We walked through the obscure depht of an...

3 QUESTIONS TO… :: SANTIAGO SIERRA

3 QUESTIONS TO… :: SANTIAGO SIERRA

OUTLAW :: Three curators for three questions to the Spanish artist on the occasion of his solo show at...

LAST LAST MEAL…
              MAT COLLISHAW

LAST LAST MEAL… MAT COLLISHAW

CATASTROPHE :: Death has always fascinated Mat Collishaw, the inevitable corollary to life, which does not have limits

LUCY+JORGE ORTA ::
              INTERVIEW

LUCY+JORGE ORTA :: INTERVIEW

CATASTROPHE :: Our intense and lively chat with the Ortas, now on show at the MAXXI in Rome with...

JOANNA MALINOWSKA ::
              PARIS BOLI

JOANNA MALINOWSKA :: PARIS BOLI

SUPERNATURAL :: Joanna Malinowska exposes her Paris Boli for the retrospective of sculpture Unlimited Bodies, and displays the supernatural...

LIFE IN BETWEEN ::
              MAIKO ENDO

LIFE IN BETWEEN :: MAIKO ENDO

CHILDHOOD :: On the occasion of the CPH:DOX Festival in Copenhagen, we met the debut filmmaker Maiko Endo