Description

« Je suis seule ici, bien à l’abri » [I am alone here, safe and sheltered] Alain Robbe-Grillet’s novel Dans le labyrinthe begins with this statement, which Francine Savard has transposed from the literary to the visual realm. As a title for the series, she chose the word “incipit,” meaning the opening phrases of a text, and for each of the paintings, she took the first sentence of a novel considered a classic of European literature. The incipits were selected so that, when assembled in a certain order, they would form a text personal to the artist. She then transliterated the phrases from linguistic to chromatic form; that is, she converted the quotations by representing each occurrence of a word with the same colour. The length of each area of flat colour is proportionate to the length of the word, while a white space represents a punctuation mark. In this system, where the colours are positioned like the words in the sentence, vocabulary and colour are one and the same. Here, as in the rest of the series, the artist’s aim is not to render the original sentence literally but to convey its rhythm with the colour sequence. M.-E. B.