- Enclosure to loose your mindClôture à perdre la raison
This text is a development of the installation « Clôturer à perdre la raison — Enclose to loose your mind » made for le Festival d’Art Contemporain Les Jours de Lumière about transparency (22 au 24 septembre 2017), Saint Saturnin, Puy de Dôme
« Exclusions are a prison. But we don’t talk about these prisons, because there are worse things. There are torments, violent deaths. Internal tortures, internal and external imprisonments (...) » .
The human being is entirely caught up in this contradiction, an open enclosure that closes in like an oyster. Man could be a bulwark against the enclosure, but this perspective is a daily battle against himself. We sail in a caravan, in a caravel, in a caravanserai, like a nave subject to the four winds, man sails. This walled nave, a strange ship, sails to the four points of the horizon.
To live in a place is to be part of it, to contribute to its qualities. Polluting our habitat forces us to protect ourselves from it, to barricade ourselves behind procedures to avoid being harmed or even killed by this pollution. Like barbed wire, theoretically there to protect us from our enemies, these procedures are protective fences against poisoning. They prevent us from belonging to this place : our habitat. They create borders and encapsuled our life.
Artificial brambles , transparent fences, are supposed to protect us from danger. It’s a question of point of view, of choice, depending on which side of the barbed wire we are on.
At the same time as pollution has become more complex, so have the protective systems that build up isolation of the protection systems that build isolation. The complexity of the opening and closing systems required for ’effective’ protection has led us to reclaim the entire security arsenal : cameras, remote sensing systems, etc. and, on the pretext of protecting ourselves, to adopt behaviours that smack of liberticide.
In the fight against the risks of this pollution, the paradox of these fences, which are supposed to protect us from these inconveniences, is their porosity. It’s monstrous ! These fences let through the liquids and gases exhaled by these landfill sites and other factories.
Protection against pollution means deprivation of freedom. Pollution and barbed wire destroy the community and turn us into refugees. Both lead to confinement. It’s an illusory imprisonment, because there’s no such thing as a perfectly watertight fence. The illusory watertightness of this fence is the trap evoked by the photos and sculptures presented during the Jours de Lumière exhibition. . Tensions about identity and the porousness of the fence do not mix well. On the contrary, tension about identity feeds on a possible porosity of the fence, even though the fence denies it. Its only porosity is reserved for pollution and liberticidal acts.
No fence can protect us from the madness of human beings, the madness of those men in dark glasses who say : « We must fear the barbarians, forbid ourselves any contact with them, except to subdue them. A withdrawal reflex controlled by the Empire’s nerve centres... It sounded the death knell for the sexual touching and teasing to which the lazy frontier had become accustomed. The mother of all violence, of all segregationism, comes from this stop ».  The more we protect ourselves from the outside, the more we weaken the inside.
And yet there is a fence that can protect us : the garden enclosure. The garden, a space protected by fences, an enclosed world, is a vantage point from which to look at the world differently, where the inside is always in dialogue with the outside. The porosity of this enclosure is the condition for its development. For nature, as for the mind, the essential thing is assimilation, the transformation of what comes from outside into something inside, and the transformation of something inside into something outside.
Since this event, other sculptures have been created and three more sculptures, currently being completed, will complete this series in the form of a triptych called Les Bonbons.
– The first sculpture is entitled : Je vous ai apporté des bonbons,
– the second : Parce que les fleurs c’est périssable
– while the third will be called : Puis les bonbons c’est tellement bon...
« Dessous leurs paupières closes »
Galerie Hors-Champs, may-june 2022, collective exhibition :
Hervé Bernard, Marie-Pierre Brunel, Cécile Duchêne Malissin, Camille Mercandelli Park.
From the press kit :
"So, lulled into the rhythm of these confrontations by the unhealthy sleep of wounded children, we have selected a 4th artist, Hervé Bernard, for his sculptures made from barbed wire, like a caressing link between each artist, between each image. Because the flowers nourished by our nocturnal flesh also intend to metamorphose. To transform into a bouquet of wire with sharp thorns. At least these don’t fade. But contained by a glass bell, these brambles seem to curl in on themselves in rage at not being able to scratch the entire horizon. You have to control the desire. Make it edible. Why not : make candy out of it, chewable barbed wire sweets for the infantry. They’ll taste the shadow and we’ll teach them that it’s only a game."