n° 17 Jeux de ficelle déconstruit



n° 18 Jeux de ficelle déconstruit



n°19 Jeux de ficelle déconstruit



n°20 Jeux de ficelle déconstruit



n°21 Eros et Thanatos


n°22 Under the volcano
Jeux de ficelle











3a Cat’s cradles

“Only he who perceives the indices and signatures of the archaic in the most modern and recent can be contemporary.” Giorgio Agamben, What is Apparatus? and other Essays, Stanford, 2009

It is the cat’s cradle which led me to the labyrinth, and I found them again later as the models for the creation of images in the khora. I must then try to explain the role they played.

Fig. G


I always had the impression that the cat’s cradle better represented the things their title indicated than did an image copying an appearance. Appearance is almost synonymous to illusion.

Was it simply a game like origami, or Chinese shadow-pantomime, consisting of reproducing a silhouette starting with a loop of string? Gradually I realized that more than an appearance, the thing itself consisted of a set of relationships. Did the cat’s cradle represent the coming to consciousness of the object thus conceived? Or the existence of the object knotted from its preliminaries? Furthermore was it the motion of the fingers forming and crossing the loops, or the path of the string in the final knot which represented the coming to consciousness of the object?

One possible interpretation of the cat’s cradle is offered in a remarkable description of the artistic approach by Merleau-Ponty:
“Given that there are organisms, objects, or fragments of objects whose ponderous existence surround him, each one in its place, and yet all run through and intertwined on the surface by a network of vectors and a clustering of the lines of force to their roots, the painter throws away the fish and keeps the net. His look appropriates correspondences, questions, and answers which, in the world, are revealed only inaudibly and always smothered in the stupor of objects. He strips them, frees them, and looks for a more agile body for them.”

If there were two sorts of images, one representing the thing in itself and the other imitating its appearance, which one was more authentic?
Even more important than resolving this dilemma was to ensure myself of what I was able truly to believe and what was my perceptive faith. Inspired by the suggestion of Levi-Strauss that the structure of cat’s cradle was similar to that of myths, I decided to deconstruct them as he had done with myths. I thus found somehow, what was inside the cat’s cradle, but that was not yet the meaningful content expressed by the form. It is only after a long journey and with the image of the khora that I finally grasped their symbolic meaning and the idea that cat’s cradles are models for primordial creation of images. (See 8 Khora).




   n° 23  Est-ce qu'il meuh ? Jeux de ficelle                   n°24 Pink panther, Jeux de ficelle





3b. The Sliced Tennis Ball. (and Ariadne’s ball of thread.)

« At this sad time today among our people, we are scrambling for the ball, and some are not even trying to catch it, which makes me cry when I think of it. But I know it will soon be caught, for the end is rapidly approaching, and it will be replaced at the center and so will be our people. It is my prayer that this be so. »                                                        Black elk, Sioux medicine man


Numerous sketches of primitive art belonging to diverse cultures are very similar to those produced by the cat’s cradle.


n°28    Fig. H other diagrams1

In the New Hebrides, on the island of Malekula, many of these designs are also mazes, but this time they are intended for the dead. When the soul of the dead presents itself at the gates of the other world, it finds itself in front of one of these designs; a ferocious female guardian erases half of it, and it is only in reassembling this lost half that the dead can follow the design’s axis towards a heavenly island. Contrarily to what occurs in the construction of the Cretan labyrinth, it is now the axis, which is the path of freedom and the meander that becomes the maze.

In one of these drawings (Fig. E), I amused myself in recognizing a tennis ball. The drawing below represents the trajectory of the ball deviated both by the effect given to it when it is sliced and by the different perspectives obtained by the player skirting round the ball (see 4 Movement).


Fig. I

By deconstructing the design, as was done with the knot, one finds other paths. These paths in turn suggest other images that can suggest those that the player associates with the way the ball is struck. It would seem that as the ball skirts around the player, it also sketches his silhouette. Does this then suggest the inner landscape of the passionate tennis player? The painting evokes rather an intermediary state and the exchange of images necessary to go from a contemporary vision to one belonging to a primitive world that places an importance on totems. One might then wonder what is this ball that Black Elk speaks about.
As a painter, I often have the impression of being manipulated and enticed. As a consequence I have the feeling of behaving as an unrestrained dog running after a ball being thrown again and again. This ball is perhaps Ariadne’s ball of thread symbolizing the tie uniting all things. But who throws the ball?


When the ball rotates, the seam of the ball, doubling upon itself, can also form a knot. One can then compare its picture with the one of the labyrinth. One can finally transform the knot, or the ball, into the Ball of thread of Ariadne unrolling itself in the maze to show the way to Theseus. (fig 31) Thus one discovers a multitude of links on which rests ancient mute language and an ancient knowledge based on thinking through forms.

In describing this content, or rather in choosing one aspect of the content as a whole, I have the disturbing feeling that I am deflowering my painting and betraying a secret, which is like their intimate face. But, “… what counts is no longer the manifest meaning of each word and of each image, but the lateral relations, the kinships that are implicated in their transfers and their exchanges.”2. Art must contribute to enrich these exchanges and “ this articulation which is the Being of every being »3The words are here to support a budding theory of the image, which could belong to this perspective.

1 All these drawings belong to the same family because in topology, a knot can be transformed into a system of interlocked rings, and become an equivalent concatenation.
2 Merleau-Ponty Le Visible et l’invisible , p. 164.
3 Le Visible et l’invisible.

n°25 Mutations I


n°26 Mutations II      n°27 Comme un
                                 lion bondissant

n°29 La balle comme le joueur




n° 30 Comme une odalisque voilée




n°31 Comme la pelote d'Arianne dans le dédale


n°32            n°33            n°34 

32 : La matrice
33 : Comme Hecate
34 : Comme Icare canard



n°35 Federer


n°36 Comme un dragon


n°37 L'ombre de la balle coupée et son double