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Lisores, January 19, 2009

I’m afraid to sound foolish…

Or worse than foolish … banal.

And yet, if there are persons I wish to save from this affront it is very much Michèle and René.

But, fine, once more into the breach…

That I can be permitted first to express myself as a friend.

We have to agree on the meaning of this term.

Friendship, there are many different kinds. One knows, for example, narcissistic friendship, that pushes us to seek in others for our own reflection to flatter our ego or to reassure us of our own value.
There is also the friendship of the courtesan of which the depth is approximately equal to the profit one hopes to gain.
There is the friendship called ‘network’ consisting of sacrificing to purely formal exigencies of a ritualized sociability in the pure design of serving one’s own interests.


And then there is friendship, this totally simple sentiment without mask, without calculation nor strategy where the other isn’t considered as a figure in the theatre of our egocentrism but as an actual personality whole and complete, that one appreciates less for its complacency toward us than for its uniqueness; And therefore respectable. Therefore touching.

This is the friendship that exists between the three of us. Michèle and René have the unique gift of bringing forth the noble sentiments which surrounds them. Blessed the day that I met them.

Without a doubt I am now expected to express myself in the role of art historian. And doubtless one will be disappointed…
Art history being to art, what sexology is to love, I admit to being slightly ill at ease with the task of putting into words the confusion that overwhelms me when viewing Michèle’s paintings and René’s sculptures. Moreover, the exercise that consists of comparing their respective works to find the reciprocal affinities, the supposed reflections, the tension and the sympathy, the intimate fire, the subterranean correspondences, this exercise, I say to myself is impossible. When I say that their art is in the image of their couple, meaning beautiful and intelligent, I will have almost said it all.

And yet…

I will not have said that I divined, notably in Michèle’s painting, the pearly echo of ancient cosmogonies. I will not have said that I saw oceans of tears and torrents of passion, of the tenderness of woman and the torment of the child, of the violence to the sovereign decency. Nor will I have spoken of the way in which she awakes my distant and diffuse memories nestled in a primitive memory situated beyond conscience, somewhere in the nightly depths of my being.
In short, I will have said nothing.

And so perhaps it would be better that I remain satisfied with my foolishness and banalities…


Pierre-Michel Bertrand
Lisores, January 19, 2009
Pierre Michel Bertrand Dr of History, specialty Art history, author of “The history of the Left-Handed, people on the opposite side,” a “Dictionary of the left-handed”, First Prize Paul Verlaine (2008) for his collection of poetry.