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Middle ground / Common Ground (Project written for the India Triennale, 02/2023)

What could make this human world stop waging war, playing with privileges, wanting to be the best, the strongest, the most everything. How can we stop this disease that ravages us, this desire to have everything, to be everything, even to be everywhere. If I am everywhere, if I have everything, then I am the most desired, the most loved, the strongest, the most admired, the most envied. I enjoy it. Is this the disease of humans? A rope that we constantly pull to be recognized? Even if the other, next to me is no longer respected, is therefore no longer my fellow man? No one escapes it, competition is one of the values instilled from childhood, love being undoubtedly at stake. At least in countries that have had access to what is called capitalism. We have become capital. One object for another. An object for oneself. 

There are those who complain about it but only submit to it out of a need for recognition. There are those who resist becoming an object, but then are they nothing? There are those who would like to but who do not feel capable of it. Dilemma. Is this desire? to crush, to plunder, to have more?

Speaking of strings, this reminds me of a drawing I made in 2014. The question of power was running through my mind.

The drawing represents a rope pulled by two hands on each side, which I made loose, reduced to a bungee jump, childhood jump, therefore a game. No power here: can we play like this? The hands are out of alignment. And the rope, letting go, forms a smile, which I wanted to show, like a root. The smile was unleashed, is this our root?  Desire, an inversion? 

I then continued to draw these roots, like a personal story. Like pulling hair. 

Find common ground ? Could it be in this game? Does a bullfighter play with his bull or is it serious? Either way, it's life/death. And it's death every time. A game of death. Not very happy. The war. Zigouler the balance of power. We like to win, it's a fact.. A game, a smile, a pleasure Or to say to yourself that there is no winner or loser. 

Hold his desire awake. Then return it to have something else. 

Our human people are at war. What is he doing ? He puts himself on the side that suits them or that he finds the most fair, to help him. Help him fight and win. Yet killing is a crime against humanity. Killing a person is a crime, killing a city is an act of war. Here too, we can't talk, that's part of the absurdity. 

Would there be other possible paths besides the great Crushing? Crushing of the earth, soils, humans, animals, everything? This semblance of joy? 

Humanize? Make the human human. Identity. 

A common humanity is perhaps in this smile, which does not pull the cord. 

The soil, our roots, our ancestors, where do we come from and why do we do it? 

The emergence of recourse to DNA tests nevertheless shows a need for self-recognition. Everything seems to go towards this slow control: yoga, wake culture, a need to be closer to nature, to cuddle the trees, to grow your own vegetables, to take care of your well-being. Beyond this rise in self-care, caring for the other is no longer apparent: we take care when we recognize the other and need it, not in a utilitarian way, but that we recognize his qualities. 

My work is directly related to this human problem. From Nietzsche to Rabelais, to the laughter of JM Rabaté (Laughs in the sun, Prodigal laughter) and its satirical added value, my work tries to touch on these questions and find a way out. A way out would be fictitious though. Psychoanalysis was developed for this. If you suffer, it is because you have not touched your desire. How then to get off? Is this the solution? it looks like it's going in circles. 

Therefore, no way out but perhaps an understanding. And maybe then something else. What ? Impossible to know.

Guardians. Land, water, our resources. Guardians. Resources of the earth that belong to all living beings? Guardians of oneself, of one's desire, of one's desires. 

To take care. To like. Cherish. Caress. Soften. Make shine. Polish. Mix. Laugh. To clean. Tidy. Polish. Give. To offer. Share. 

From 2019 to 2020, I designed a series that I titled the warriors of desire. Warrior Eros. These are legs surmounted by the imprints of old cake moulds. The cake is a symbol of sharing, of a moment of pleasure that appeals to all the senses but mainly that of the mouth. A thousand-year-old art just like ceramics, which was used to prepare dishes. Before becoming a gourmet, she was an offering to the gods to protect them from earthly dangers. 

I had found old cake pans at flea markets and started collecting them. Then came the idea of planting them at the top of the legs, like a hymn to desire. 

In the Eros warriors, it is Plato's banquet and eros shared as speech from which I started. I left in a questioning about love and desire. 

In the banquet, words that seek to understand, analyze, perceive what love would be, between the exquisite, carnal love, completeness, friendship and play, admiration, prohibitions or morality . Plato, mocking, in particular of the incompleteness dear to Aristophanes, only foresees at the end of the book, despite his definition of an internal beauty, an alcoholic orgy which does not say its end (or its hunger). 

The Eros warriors are therefore both a satire of our behavior (the severed head) but also a tribute to our desires that we all carry. 

The characters are endearing, seem harmless, and like upright columns, their desire is on the tip of their sacrum.

Will they eat or be eaten? Is there someone to take the meal or do they carry their dessert as one carries one's desire?

The sculpture leads to various interpretations. In the warriors, it is the tradition of the gourmet that is honoured, 


The rest of my artistic work is also linked to the question of sharing, connection, individuality and desire, our line-paths.

Individuality is important, it allows sharing. 

Ceramic art is an ancient art with its own techniques that I enjoy diverting, deflecting but also honoring. A technique invented in time immemorial in order to survive better and to create rituals, becoming traditions. I use clay as a formless material, infinitely malleable.

How to realize human nature, to laugh at it, in order to look at ourselves with humility and to open our minds towards more self-awareness? How to ensure that capitalism becomes less dominant? 


A film based on my ceramic work is in progress, a reflection on its material: how does it crumble, how does it move, how is it cooked, what symbolism can we give it?  

A ceramic animation work based on Stravinsky's Histoire du soldier. This universal story particularly touches me because it depicts a man who, returning from the war, sells his most precious possession, a cello.

It also refers to family history, rediscovered and present history that makes me build bridges in my research. War, this unfortunate divorce between self and self. 

There are pasts to keep, and presents to understand. There are materials to understand. 

Camille Sabatier

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