1995 Conversation I entretien avec Sylvie Parent

CONVERSATION,1995  (Entrevue publiée et traduite en italien dans Sguardo d’inchiostro, The Box, 1995)  Sylvie Parent: The objects that make up your work sometimes remind us of furniture { table, bench, bed, mirror) or of architectural elements {walls, windows, doors); in short, these are welcoming structures. By allusion, they seem to take us in, inhabit and receive us. Can you tell us about these references and of the role they play?  Jocelyne A1loucherie : They are taken from an intimate experience of architecture, a continuous, daily experience that is practised through familiarity with varied settings. The experience seems sometimes other; it may also be brief, unique, particular; it oscillates between recognition, sudden appearance, reprise and event, between the familiar and the strange. The references take shape in precise configurations or they become barely noticeable: a dimension, a proportion, the situation of a given mass, its height. It is right to describe them as welcoming structures. They are indeed a means of access. They should evoke mundane, ordinary, vague memories, an indeterminate feeling of presence similar to the vague sensation of finding oneself elsewhere, in known territory, or to an awareness of presence which is the feeling of existence, of profoundly belonging to particular moments and spaces - without there being any reason for it. But this is just the beginning.  S.P .: I would like you to tell us more of the apparent familiarity of known objects, an experience that gives place, paradoxically and simultaneously, to an impression of strangeness. How is this possible, and to what end do you seek such effects?  J.A.: These references must remain allusive, imprecise, "generalized." A table should be revealed as the substrate of all tables. This effect is not necessarily achieved by schematising the model. An object may paradoxically have the distinct characteristics of a given period, yet escape it as well. For each work, one must redefine the relations between constituent elements, the enmeshing of referential and formal levels, where values shift, vacillate, switch and reverse themselves, constituting the act of seeing, a crystallization of elements on which the gaze may expand and travel, bearing one's whole being in its fluidity: body, thoughts, and history. Art may be just that, a reflecting surface revealing to themselves those who dare let their gaze wander...  S.P .: Could you expand on that definition of art and explain its relation to your work?  J.A.: Revealing one's being to oneself isn't trivial. It involves disruptions, displacements, transformations, the intrusion of doubt, discontinuity, openness... I think this is the real political sense of art. Having said that, I do not mean that art is solely the product of its history and even less that of the narrow, closed history of its author. It is perhaps history in general; but that implies so many levels, such a  9