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Without question François Daireaux can define himself as a peregrinator artist. Though the idea of peregrination can corrupt the understanding of a profoundly original approach (in the full meaning of the term). Everything begins with the feet, displacement, visit, exploration, discovery. Movement, not in its modern vacuity, but as an encounter with different cultures to grasp human activity in its traditional implications, most often neglected or treated as folklore. In this manner, the artist develops a coherent project born at the heart of the studio so to better embrace the world. A practice of shape and meaning resulting through the material itself. A know-how that weighs in the repetition, recycling, interaction, renewal, and the diversity of the materials and their sensitive and tactile capacity to transform themselves and to even metamorphose. Does the voyage have similarities to “an aesthetics of diversity” as proposed by Victor Segalen ? Yet, what is available here is the continuous refusal for all mercantile exoticism, the inevitable consequence of a colonist perspective. “This, which is universal, is simply my own vision, an artist’s : see the world, then put forth one’s vision of the world” (again Victor Segalen). Seeing it, understanding it, grasping it through work as a vital, organic process. And if “each age and society re-creates its ‘Others’” (Edward W. Said), François Daireaux clearly thinks about the other and the elsewhere indivisibly. Humanity only exists in the accomplished work.
Through and for the gesture, he uncovers the universal by observing, molding, and segmenting the tirelessly repeated ritual of production. In 1955 when Jacques Demy directed Le Sabotier du Val de Loire (with commentary by Georges Rouquier), he proposed a documentary on clog making and, above all, thoughts on the passage of time. For François Daireaux, Indian, Chinese, Moroccan craftsmen participate in a relationship to time, there where nostalgia diminishes.
They all show tellings of the multiplicity of modes of intervention, styles, lives, both associated and constituent to human essence. “Plurality is the condition of human action, because we are all the same, that is, human, in such a way that nobody is ever the same as anyone else who ever lived, lives, or will live.” (Hannah Arendt). The walker artist sculpts, draws, films, takes photographs. François Daireaux comes into his own in practice more than in function. In this manner, his most recent creation for the Villa Tamaris is comprised of two hundred and three pieces. The emphasizing of photographs combining air and material, such a process of recycling through which surfaces an archeology of the present. Skizzes/schises, the homonymy is rarely innocent. In this comparison, it is probably necessary to reveal the idea of a break within the representation, of a will to favor the “how it is made”. The traces, their placing at a distance, and their obliteration all become elements of a vast, perpetually evolving project for which the critical force can only be understood through the uncertain mastery of the shapes.

Robert Bonaccorsi

Translation by Strickland-Wolf