Jean-François Fouilhoux, stoneware sculpture / Galerie Capazza, Nançay, France
17th March - 17th June 2012
Opening reception: Saturday, March 17th, 5.00pm
I love clay.
I’m always moved to see the mark made by my fingers in soil.
Clay remembers their lightest touch and retains the slightest motion transmitted to it.
The mildest inflection – or even hesitation – leaves its trace.
It is a recorder of emotions. Hasn’t a scientist said that given the right tools, one could hear the sounds generated in the studio when a pot is being thrown because they are etched into its surface, like the first recordings of voices on wax cylinders? This highly singular property of clay is all the richer because the firing sets these marks and preserves their traces.
Like the wall of a cave and pigment, or paper and pencil, clay engages with the hands and the body.
I write in the soil.
My pencil? A flexible blade that I bend at will. My medium? A wall of clay.
I sketch in space by drawing the blade through the wall and slicing into its thickness.
The line is a continuous one, just as with writing, and the volume takes form blindly, as imagined by the gesture.
The form is then composed of two interlocking elements, separated by a small gap.
We could say that each is a mould or an impression of the other, with a space that Marcel Duchamp defined as being ‘infra-thin’. They are born of the same gesture: the trace left by the motion of the flexible blade is all that ultimately interests me.
I then sacrifice one of the two parts, which I destroy to allow the impression of the gesture to appear.
Traces of energy, of tension… Like a calligrapher, I have meditated on the gesture before executing it. It is a sort of dance or ritual in which the movement is expansive, dynamic, continuous and without regrets.The goal is freeing up the sensitive impression, after a privileged moment, by emptying its material content and reducing it to a skin,
then bringing it to life as if suspended in the void… and simply capturing the energy of the gesture expressed in space…
This is yet another story of fullness and emptiness, which is recurrent in ceramics. It is also the story of celadon – translucent – another symbol for completeness and void: both matter and light.