sechs songs d’amour

05/02/2014 - 12/02/2014

An exhibition at Jean Nouvel Design of “Sechs Songs d’amour”, a book of prints by artist Jean-Charles Blais.

“The things of this world only exist to end up in a book.” Stéphane Mallarmé.

Mallarmé, they say, began his day by reading poetry. Jean-Charles Blais listens to music. Put together, poetry and music make songs.

There is a long tradition of setting poetry to images. But when it comes to music, the relationship has proved more delicate. Of course people draw or paint musicians. But music itself remains invisible. In this sense, “Sechs Sons d’Amour” is a game and a challenge at the same time.

Jean-Charles Blais has chosen six poems. Five of them were inspired by musicians – the music of the Songs of Charles d’Orléans has gone astray. These poems and pieces of music belong to different times and cultures, English, German, French–which explains the trilingual title. They have been published in their original language and translated into Bulgarian. What they share is a common subject: love. Could there be any other reason for writing a song?

Love, then, is sacred, love is profane, love is happy, love is sad, love is innocent, love is perverse, love forgives, love kills… But just what is this thing called love? Or, as one of today’s young poets once said: basically, we know almost nothing about love.

The work comprises 7 sketch books of silkscreen prints. It is composed of 21 illustrations and written pages designed by Jean-Charles Blais and gathered together in a standard folder.

58 copies have been printed and signed by the artist:

8 copies come with a suite of 6 original silkscreen prints, numbered 1 to VIII;

38 copies of an original silkscreen print numbered 1 to 38;

5 artist’s proofs numbered E.A. (artist’s proof)  from I to V; and

5 proofs not for sale to the general public numbered H.C. (out of circulation) from I to V.

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