I’m writing from my bed. I like writing at night, with my computer on my knees, it’s so different from when I’m at my desk during the day, always available, reachable, always prepared to divide my time and continually open new windows on my computer screen. But most of all, I don’t have wifi in bed, so no other resources, no distractions… And I’m pretty tired, like after a busy day. So as I write in this state, I feel the need to extend and focus on one simple thing, for a while, vaguely. It’s probably a good state for writing about, as if it were since, those hammocks you made for the art book fair in Copenhagen, where Theophile’s Papers’ commissioned furniture to present its books on.
I know I’m not the only one who has fond memories of hammocks, books, and gardens: the shadows, heat, summertime, naps, swaying, flipping through pages, not really reading, a happy seclusion, hanging above the ground… I imagine that reading in a hammock, in an art book festival where the sources of information are far too rich for anyone’s attention span, must be quite a different feeling. Maybe offering flexible structures to settle in is also an invitation to accept not to see everything, nor read everything, maybe to the point of turning this subjectivity into a privilege, a welcoming retreat, where one can hide in the very midst of a dense and bustling situation. These long strips of fabric, sewn together with bulky seams, hanging from each end, stand in for the robust furniture that is more adapted and functional for showing books, as the surface of a table, a chair, a shelf twist into the folds of these enveloping and supple forms. A book is also a bound object, its content concealed by its cover or successive pages. Seen from my bed, and probably also seen from a hammock, a book and hammock seem very similar with their folded structures, their plays of showing and hiding, and this closeness makes these two shapes inviting to one another.
Actually, this relaxed state that I am in and am imagining started long before the convergence of a bed, a computer, and a room or a hammock, a book, and a festival. Firstly, it’s the way you relaxed the material itself, because the hammock’s fabric is actually loosened canvas: both untightened and released. It has escaped the frame onto which it was meant to be stretched. The fabric has shifted from the project of a painting to the object of the physical experience of a creased painting, from a flat supporting structure to a tangle of material hanging from two ends. It is a painting that ultimately refuses to be seen entirely, whether it be up close or far away, because it can undo the eye’s distance by wrapping or hiding its beholder. You made these canvases at the residency in Noisy-le-Sec, in the art center where I work mostly during the day. This is where you sewed the different strips of pastel pink, yellow, and blue. The picture you took of the towers surrounding the residency, right before dusk, echoed your vertical composition and its colors. And then, immersed in a decoction only you know how to make, with leaves that you picked from a flowerbed, it suddenly took on a very local dimension. Your trip to Copenhagen transformed this project, allowed it to become functional: from horizontal compositions, the canvases creased, freed from any supporting structure, to become simple and welcoming objects, shapes at rest.
Good night, and see you tomorrow,