Guest of honour of the Grand BAZ'ART 2016
There is something delirious and obsessive about creation, something that goes back over and over again to the same matter – grinding it and going deeper into it relentlessly, until it is completely transformed into something else, much like life does, for which we sometimes are little more than moulding paste. A mania that borders on automatism, that kneads its subject, exploring one by one all the folds and creases of reality.
It has been long since Jean-Luc Giraud chose himself as his study matter. It is his own face, or, better said, the representation of his face that he is accustomed to forming, that he uses as a basis for his reveries and flights of fancy: an almost automatic stereotype declined in countless variations to illustrate our uncer¬tainties about individuality, Oneself, but also about time, madness, reason, all the metamor¬phoses of reality and, finally, the enigma of the human being’s ephemeral nature, of its growing and then decomposing like a natural subject.
In a sense, one must truly love oneself to be able to multiply oneself shamelessly as he does, for years in a row, and especially to not fear one’s own image and examining it in its smallest details.
An interior image, no doubt more of a mental one than a real one, and which doesn’t have much to do with the reflexion thrown back by a mirror, but which makes the game just as cruel in the end, when it unveils its true dimension: it is a terrible exercise of lucidity, mollified by a touch of clownery and grotesque, so as to erase any trace of complaisance or narcissism. Along the road, the artist discovered with fas¬cination the universe of old photographs and he started adopting those small treasures of anonymous families, sold off cheaply at flea markets. Then, transgressing the taboo of the respect due to archives, he dared introduce himself in the images of other people and to squat with his presence a ghostly past miracu¬lously brought back to life by his sacrilegious gesture.
The effect is hypnotic and confusing, like a dream in which two incompatible eras, two dis¬tant strata of time are suddenly condensed into one, like in those geological accidents where the immediate present lies next to the oldest outcrops, demonstrating in a single glance the unity of nature and life.
Text by Laurent Danchin