Arpaïs Du Bois: Feue la Joyeuseté. Works on paper (edition of 1200 numbered copies)
Damien Sausset, Philippe Van Cauteren
Hopper&Fuchs & Fifty One, 2021
In a soft voice, almost a whisper in the murmur of the world. A soft voice that tells about time that stands still, about wanderings of the soul, about trials of the heart. And about the threatening thunder or the gust of wind that makes the canopy sway. A soft voice in which the suspicion of death roars just as violently as the vivid hope of everyday life. Anyone who wants to listen to it will hear all this in the sentences of Arpaïs Du Bois. Because this “secret” artist writes words, loose thoughts or fragments of text on sheets of paper that still vibrate with the colors they have drawn. No beautiful poems or heroic stories here. The power of these words lies in something completely different.
How do you draw with and against language?
Each work aims to express this desire to seize the world with a soothing word, the magic of language and a painting full of memories. From this field of tension arises a meaning that is separate from the image. An image that would not have so much value without this meaning. That is where her resistance to our times lies. There are her gaps, the “no-thought”, her inability to fold back on herself. Mark, cut, trace, write, erase, add. Pin down words from drawing, and then let them merge with the language of painting. Everything takes place on the surface and within the surface. A combination of insights and the breakdown of layers. Each work by Arpaïs Du Bois is a maze of the mind. Every work by Arpaïs looks at us intently. In return, we look at it. To get some of the joy our ancestors must have felt when they discovered the life cycles. To more easily see this “flesh and blood of the world” that Edouard Glissant predicted as a representation of the universe. That may seem complicated, but in fact everything just falls into place. You just have to watch.