Stones and Men

By Anne Hénault, Professor of semiotics at the Doctoral School of Paris V, La Sorbonne, Paris, France

The work of Marie-Noelle de La Poype expresses a stabbing guards. Why so many efforts to tear away from bowels of the Earth these tons of slate, these blocks of blue schist of Anjou and to raise them like scluptures suprisingly aeral? The hand of the artist seems to have restricted itself to just brush the stone which her desire and will brought to the light: she appears to have contented herself with accompanying the veins, with cleaning the foliated stones and with underlining the folds which Mother-Earth had imposed on the material before granting it the short-lived rest of a solidified shape.

Everything takes place as if the work of Marie-Noelle de La Poype was endlessly looking to be position herself upstream to frozen times, to the instituted, to the the so-called definitive. Everything takes place as if her wisdom (or her faith) could not restrain to think that whatever is under the sun could escape to the Heraclitus vision, to the Panta Rei. Yes, even minerals are capable of fludity. «The spirit that watches over under the stones» (Rimbaud) only grants a brief rest (only a few million years) to the various shapes it engenders, when it realises theme by tearing them away, for a given while – really given – to the virtual of all the possibilities. Everything takes place as if Marie-Noelle de La Poype hurried to finish, to brinf to fulfillment the work sketched by Gaia and always at present in gestation. No pretension in the gestures of the artist and thus never brutality. The purpose of Earth is simply and discreetly fitted, adjusted to the path of Men, to their visual expertise, to their tactile sensuality and to what they invest and care in the horizontal or in the vertical.

It happens that during Marie-Noelle de La Poype’s work, the black block of ten tons splits in all its length, revealing its fragmented nature, of which is not inevitably voted to damnation : we can see, in the garden of sculptures of Mozé, Alignment 8, a monumental piece of four meters high which thrusts itself of all the ardor of its veins and it its arteries in two frayed needles, as inhaled by surrounding air and space, in the way, we formerly built cathedrals.

The impulse of these leafy and foliated stones are called to mean, to signify – Here Alignment 8, the possibility of redemption for what, having been born double, or having became double by the misfortune of one’s childhood, ends by knowing how to gather under the blow of Ariel, according to a direction unique and strong, permeable and welcoming to the Being, – là, Alignment 1, the melody of the world and the fertility of the orchard abounding in apples. Still further laid on the ground, Alignment 2, the hardly enlivened paving stone, maybe achieves to tell the soft rest of a real accomplished life.

Captivated by this garden of sculptures, we admire in silence the magnificent Tapissery of slates, terrestrial and aerial, them too. The plane surfaces, born horizontal, but which the artist intended to be hung verticaly according to a serial rhythm, presented the scarifications of the schist, worked over again, adorned by inlays of ossicles of big marine mammals. Here the patient game of the marquetry positions itself in tension with the blue schist’s fluidity always visible and tangible. A geometry maintained in the stage of sketches or of attempts, almost shy, guided by the feeling, the sense, i.e. by the eye or by the dexterity (but never by the verbose or by the cerebral prison type) draws humble firmaments, by these contrasts of night-blues and the sensational whiteness of the galactic alignments of bones polished as ivory. Forgotten also frozen hanging of the red or tangy polycarbonates: Touch me probably speaks about love or – who knows? – of compassion… Forgotten, finally many other attempts of expression through which, since 1991, the artist cleared himself a road through his mixed admirations for Niki de Saint Phalle and Louise Bourgeois, Henry Moore and Noguchi?

To tell the truth, none of these big works can be forgotten, but the transience of this comment does not authorize us to speak about it…

Marie-Noelle de La Poype seems to try very hard to investigate and explore a world where rocks did not wrinkle yet in their hardness, where the seas did not withdraw along the banks and where the big marine monsters are just matrices and cartilages: before Moby Dick, there was a morning, of Earth and Air. And the Creator saw that it was beautiful.