all rights reserved - 2016


Decorations and other embellishments

« On devient l’homme de son uniforme. »
In one saying, Napoleon summarizes the intention of that work.
These embroideries are created from coloured pencil drawings on which are only represented the men’s decorations (a French gendarme as well as a French policeman; an American soldier, the director of the CIA).
The decorations follow the figure of the clothing, which reveals a human silhouette. The body of these men is represented only by his rewards and his merit. To such an extent that we only know him through that. Judging him by his decorations, associated to certain groups, to certain affiliations, a certain level of fame, even forgetting who he is, what his name is.

The formal carrying out of my work needs to be thought to provide meaning. This is why I wanted to embroider these drawings. Never have embroidered, I had to learn, autonomously, with no rules or techniques. At this time, my work takes on a very new dimension in convoking manual work notions, of benefits, of endurance but also of confrontation of nature and time. I have provided a definite physical commitment to this work which required several dozen hours of concentration as well as repetition of the same gesture over and over again. Thus I create discrepancies: a young man in his early twenties spends days embroidering. Why? Because this gives me great pleasure, the same pleasure I can feel during lengthy efforts when running. Then because I attempt to achieve a goal certainly too ambitious.

Competitive spirit.
To go ever further, test your limits in an almost infinite repetition of a gesture or an action to taste the results and the aim….or not. Relish failure. As long as the aim has not yet been achieved , in the world of sport, this is an opportunity to get back to work in an attempt to win. In art, there is an artistic coefficient, which is measured in the difference between the desired goal and the shape reached. It is set by Marcel Duchamp, in “Le processus creatif”. The notion of beauty thus challenged seems to be more of a matter of shifting of the work to a creative process produced, even though such thing reveals itself as an afterthought: “Beauty lies in this delay in coming to terms with realising the relentlessness of a deployed game. It is measured through the delay to understand the device that we know to be possible but of which we didn’t see the subtle motion. It is all the more beautiful that it resists to the sagacity. The game is up, as the countdown to the game goes on, because we can redo it, comment it and try to understand why the conscience was put on a state of alert in order to reproduce how the readymade was established.” ¹ Thus in the finished form of my embroidered works, we are not facing a technically remarkable and meticulous work but rather something quite coarse, technically barely mastered.

Everything, in the shape, is ambiguity.
Between clothes, cloak or apron, between Adult size and Child size, between items of clothing and abstract cloths. Each of the three pieces of the series is drawn from collars found in women’s clothing, which creates a connection between embroidery and a contrast with the Military decorations.

Added value.
Embroidery nowadays conveys a certain image of luxury. Handmade embroidery (performed almost exclusively by women) is a work of cloth embellishment. It is here a question of moving an object from one field to another, excreting an assured gain on the object. Working on the object brings a very distinct added value that can be counterbalanced during an eventual resale or trade. The added value is here formal and material; similarly reflects the values received when a man is decorated.

Signs. Decorations. Merit.
As much in the army as in sports, men need to distinguish themselves through their merit. The prizes are similar, we are talking about medals. Like the ribbons in specific colour coding found on the Military Generals’ upper bodies, a World Champion cyclist for instance, wears a rainbow piping on his jersey. Embroidery as well as running, my work has a physical and psychological influence on myself. I become the man of my uniform: I take action according to the orders² of the work in progress.

1 Marc Décimo, Marcel Duchamp mis à nu – À propos du processus créatif, Les Presses du réel, 2004, collection Chantiers, Dijon, 320 p., ill. Translated from Marcel Duchamp’s quote:
« La beauté provient de ce retard à prendre conscience de l'implacabilité d'un jeu qui s'est déployé. Elle se mesure au retard pour comprendre un dispositif qu'on sait possible mais dont on n'a pas vu le mouvement subtil. Il est d'autant plus beau qu'il résiste à la sagacité. La partie jouée, celle-ci se poursuit encore, à rebours, parce qu'on peut la refaire, la commenter et essayer de comprendre pourquoi la conscience s'est mise en alerte afin de restituer comment s'est construit le readymade. »
2 My work dictates my actions, in the etymological sense of the term, from Latin dictare: often say, repeat.
See the embroidery