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  • Writer's pictureEric Lefèvre

Being essential is not a state, it is a role!

I will always be on the side of the artists.

That's definitive.

I love them all: the geniuses, the rebels, the pests, the incomprehensible, the dreamers, the ego junkies, the success shy, the straightforward, the sun collectors, the beauty harvesters, the lie sellers, the emotion athletes, the hucksters of bedtime stories... All of them!

Even those who hurt my patience.

All of them, I tell you!

But make no mistake, I don't like them by choice but by taste.

Because that's what an artist is: a tasteful hook on our dreams of freedom.

And this freedom can be recognized by its very particular fragrance. It has at first this characteristic bitterness of the shaken comfort but which transforms itself quickly into a learned suave or repulsive dosage which raises the sleepy envies.

The freedom of the artist can thus be a sewer enhancer as it can be this perfume which raises the desire to be oneself. This freedom is the oxygen of our honesty.

It is exactly in that that the artists are essential to us because they breathe our lives, our society, our customs and return them to us so that we can see them differently, under another angle, in another time, dressed of other vibrances.

Let's notice that they are always among the first targets of those who want to impose, dictate or break their need for uniformity. It is so logical: freedom is the nightmare of the ego. It is in this that artists are precious indicators of a true democracy because being an artist is not a state, it is a role! And this role is essential for the mental hygiene of the city.

But more still, the artists know how to redefine us the beautiful. They reinvent it, they auscultate it and magnify it. From the beauty of the abject to the brutality of harmony, from Duchamp's "The Fountain" to Raphael's cherubs, they use their incredible palette of sensibilities to enhance ours. So there are no artists we don't like, there can only be artists we don't understand... even if it is not always our fault.

In short, artists are the "heavenly" essence of those who want to keep their feet firmly on the ground.

To love them is to respect us.

This is why I beg all artists to continue to speak, to draw, to sculpt, to dream, to tell stories without counting the cost, to create life by all means because without you, we could become deaf from listening to the drums too much.

« The role of the artists is to make move

mental boundaries. »

Samira Makhmalbaf

Iranian director

Le Nouvel Observateur (12/10/2000)

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