Journey to nowhere
When we use the "carpe diem" to summarize the often misunderstood Horace ‘s poem to adorn sundials, Olivier Larivière has chosen the woman’s rump riding forcefully her lover for the title of his new series "Nothing is forever."
"Obscene, inappropriate, easy! " some people would say...
And for these people this would be mistaken and where one should bring an eye then carefully intellection, let oneself be captured by a work that definitely plays with our prejudices, our certainties, mimicking to throw them at us.
Because obscene, at the risk of disappointing and unless pretending a modesty of circumstance, there is not and in truth , if Olivier Larivière’s paintings are shocking, it is because they do not shock us. The artist likes to scare us, throws an unpinned grenade but that never will explode... After the first astonishment, the heart still having lost control for having found so close to the menacing pulse, this is not by concupiscence that the pupil dilates again but under a strange compassion. The eye then focuses on frames, situations, this brushstroke, these faces and wonder about the reasons for a newfound and seasoned clarity...
What looked at first obscene then appears as an opaque veil put on what would have been otherwise immodest for untrained intelligence : The existence and his pathetic, his ridicule, his boredom. In a word, his vanity.
More than a veil may be, the overwhelming presence of the body compensates by gravity an unbearable evanescence. Questioning of our senses rather than elation of our senses. In the absence of the Being, the matter... Nearly an ontology.
Until this painting first mentioned, and perhaps the most explicit, it is less a couple about to fuck Olivier Larivière reveals to our eyes than consensuality and bestiality of the branding with all the distance specific to irony, and mixed together : the branding iron as branding management.
"Nothing is forever" so...
We almost want to chant.
At first, nothing lasts, and simply we must enjoy life.
But let’s linger over.
To this common given time, we substitute silences, delays, and it's almost an oxymoron that appears when the sense we ascribe disappears under the most formal reading: "Nothing" is "always" .
This is to say a nothingness similar to eternity, a nowhere place where nothing can happen.
Collusion in the same formula of an injunction to enjoy and the futility of desire, vanity again, and neuroticism.
The event is barred, nothing will happen that has already happened, everything is already there, already written without yet a meaning. Certainly, we missed the party, but by next to nothing... Sad consolation.
These places of nowhere, subjects - we are tempted to write the characters – stride them across like in a world that does not exist in search of a novelty that may not exist anymore. Crossing points, oblivion places, hotel rooms, funfairs, deserted beaches, parking lots, always at the limit, on the outskirts, near the center where everything happens.
For evidence, nobody lives here, one migrates there, first led by the hand of the painter who leaves us then abandoned to this in-between that will act as incubator, as a mould. If the place is vague, the context is given, both indeterminate and over-determining, less refering to the classical pictorial composition than to the film frame. It is less to represent, feature a presence, that of raising situations, invoking possibles. And our characters to come alive, frolic and struggle as inhabited.
Profusion of objects, mises en scène, like so many fetishes, suggesting as a treasure hunt where the show and the desire for goods have replaced the grand narratives.
This is then no longer vision but imagination that illuminates the eye and guides us through a riddle to decipher, a story to find. Story which of course can only be hypothetical and uncertain, a fiction.
This fiction, or rather these fictions, to the extent that they are fictions as they are multiple, yet not have anything in common with those proposed in movie theaters.
When to the cinema, the wait concerns what will happen, suspense, the suspension of the meaning works backwards here and what may have led us to the actual situation. The future is dispensable, time of crisis, and the thought travels upstream from what the gaze explores, seeking at the present time the relic of the past ; but it is certain, must give meaning to what is given to see. Hence the feeling of a gap, this feeling of having missed something and that the most important is elsewhere, if not anywhere.
The time is like suspended, held back in its duration, and "No future" seems to be the leitmotif that punctuates this wandering. Present time is not exactly any more present time, this is a deferred present time, and trying too hard to pick the day, we end up killing some of it.
This Journey to nowhere which Olivier Larivière invites us has indeed something nihilistic and post-modern, paradoxically punk, intellectual and hedonistic. The glow borders on extinction, the turgescence of genitals the flaccidity of faces, like the pulsation of the Being nestled in the heart of the nothingness. We should neither expect nor try to retain it, until the next beat to the last...