PJ    TE    2002




I am upset at being so afraid and so cautious, I only bet on the strongest, my life has shown me that natural selection operates in all domains, art not excluded, and I detest these useless transfusions which keep talkative artists, dandies and other careerists alive, skilful makers of luxury wallpaper for lawyers and dentists. I thought that my misanthropy was unbreachable; our little art manufacturers are good at the tricks that make them interesting, but I can’t help it, neither their bogus sociology , their ‘fresh questioning’, their supreme detachment, manage to conceal their ambition and their ego; little bourgeois types who dream of Basquiat’s Concorde, of Saatchi’s billions...

In this jumble, how can one explain the presence of Alain Declercq, a powerful virus which makes its attack in the clarity of its proposition, the real risk; a sudden shift which reshuffles the whole of this smug and insipid little world. Nothing obscure to hide the weakness of the proposal! A work so well mastered in the elements of  its composition that it is enough simply to pay attention to what Alain shows us to grasp its meaning; our habits of listening with half an ear must be reassessed, a sharp and salutary awakening, Alain brings us back to form to understand the world, a beneficial exercise; we must get rid of the fat, shift our arse and our head, the heaviest are left behind, the dandies are out of breath – natural selection, I repeat, paratroopers’ pants and shaven heads, march or die!

One, two, one, two, you bundle of idlers, no more umbrellas and sewing machines on dissection tables; in the Palais de Tokyo, it’s 600 bullets from an automatic pistol that are fired, point-blank range, the place is evacuated, ear-drums burst, the rounds are organised like a massacre, premeditated, carried out by an official élite marksman, an angel-faced devil, an aesthete in his free time, to draw the title of a book by Mesrine on a fence, word for word, letter by letter, blow after blow, state killer against  killer of state, Alain makes us relive the massacre at the Porte de Clignancourt, the blows on the BMW windscreen, reality becomes as horrible as it is intensely pleasurable, the video records the blows, lets us see the shots: to read ‘Instinct of Death’ written by the hail of bullets, the idlers only see stylistic effects, the others know who wrote this title and why, and who re-wrote it with his deadly weapons, and understand his demand for anonymity. A real risk. For everyone, a homage to the living and the dead, a unique moment, social mirror, symbolic violence and real violence intermingled, Alain brings this fact to life for us, leaves us free to ‘draw’ our own conclusions from it, let him be thanked for it.

Patrick Jeannes is an artist and a professor of Fine Arts in Paris.