My project on the Oulipo led me to unexpected discoveries, and one of the most inspiring was undoubtedly the letter Théroigne wrote to the French revolutionary Danton in 1801 from the asylum – seven years after his death- and the beautiful text Jackie Pigeaud wrote about it.
Théroigne’s letter of art resonates with my own research on so many points. What “happens” there in terms of lisibility/illisibility, the line and the stroke, the voids and the full, the bloches, is for me properly fascinating.
In his brilliant presentation, Pigeaud points out what is the most striking in this object-letter, that today, for us, it is a work of art. And this, he says, is the result of the history of art, of how, after Pollock, our eye has changed. He also shows a remarkable empathy with the work of the writer-artist and her unique sense of beauty.
I had the opportunity to visit Pigeaud at his home near Nantes and ask him to read his text while I filmed him. In this clip I chose the passages I found the most important from the perspective of my research. I hope you will enjoy it.
Many thanks to Prof. Timothy Mathews for his English version of Jackie Pigeaud’s clip