Ismaïl Bahri : Aviator | Detail se dilate (exhibition)

25 April 2014

© Copyright 2014 Eric Degoutte.

At a moment when words are let loose and daring, and a thread of thoughts is thrown- still inhabited as we go by the already initiated process of Dénouement, lingering on by the slow unravelling of the sights yielded by Film, where in fact we should be closer now to Ismail Bahri’s poise in “filming the seing”, and that we should also be writing…there surge out, well intertwined, both figures of Small Prince and of Rimbaud.

It could have been otherwise. Perhaps. Delicious resonances would have come along with streaks of light like a “kaleidoscope of darkness” perceived from the bed of the writer, in his countryside, at Cambray. Could be elsewhere. In that “ flicker of the epiphanies of the mind” that would allow an approach in beauty and rightness, Percées.

Capturing in an instant the porosity of space and the intertwining of matter; where stone melts up in sound. In a single time. In the liminal ordeals, particularly the crossing of phenomenological borders, along the routes of consummate perceptions, and within moments of a singular bet on a possible reordering of things, even though incommensurable; and of an intelligible endorsed by sense.

“Scratches of light”, or else small “breeches, real or fictional” of which Ismail Bahri spoke, would have been among other deaf presences, states perceived, or things seen. In the realm of attempts of restitution, and of whirling and playfully interlocking words. A criss-cross of lace threads laid out in a phrastic expanse run on headlong, then stop in utter fixedness, like an echo along what has been produced and wrought in Latences.

A breath, a shot, wind caught in the branches of an acacia tree. No…Small Prince rather. Himself as he appears in this fragment, and in between the crossing outs:

-This one is too old. I want a sheep that will live a long time.” By this time my patience was exhausted, because I was in a hurry to start taking my engine apart. So I tossed off this drawing. And I threw out an explanation with it.

“This is only his box. The sheep you asked for is inside.”

I was very surprised to see a light break over the face of my young judge:

“That is exactly the way I wanted it! Do you think that this sheep will have to have a great deal of grass?”

In the gaze of Small Prince, in that singular illumination which arouses your desire and invites you to also engage in this search for an on-going seeing, there seems to be a beautiful projection to be made onto Ismail Bahri’s work.

The box drawn by the aviator, which now has become a seeing machine, unveils nothing while allowing everything. It seems to incorporate the attitude and the gaze of Small Prince. He too has now been transformed into a seeing machine, he too is at the threshold of the off lens image that Ismail Bahri peeps into as in a screening room plunged in darkness. This box outgrows its limits, its field, and yields opportunities to give in to thought, to see, upon the completion of a beautiful press.

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