1998 - Michel Tournier (from Goncourt Académie) (writer)

Grataloup' Secret : The Antimatter

( Extracted foreword - Monograph 1998 - Publishing(Editions) Ramsay)

" It is the word material which occurs at first when we go through Guy - Rachel Grataloup's work. Which material ? All kinds of materials, wood, stone, metal, but also hair, the grass and light of course. He could not be question for him to transport a shape into diverse materials, as certain works can be so conceived, in marble, ebony or in photography. The works of Grataloup are absolutely “intransposable, " intranssubstantielle " to speak like the theologians.

Yet nobody is further away than him from the "materialism" of a Dubuffet, Fautrier, Tapies or Burri who fetishize the homogeneous substance in which they knead their works. Certainly matter is there, but it is possessed, mastered, denied in a certain sense.

What is matter? It is a homogenous space full and therefore substantially unintelligible. An empty space calls for geometric or living forms on which the mind can be exercised. Filled with a dough each part of which is interchangeable with all others, it discourages any constructive action.

This means that Grataloup's material hides a secret. First, he sows small keys lost in her like needles in a haystack. It is thus Icarus fallen into the wheat, hunters almost invisible in the middle of the healers, a little green man in a volcanic landscape, the original human couple drowned in the clear paradise, an acrobat plunging naked in glaucous thicknesses. These imponderable creatures are so many worms in the fruit of substance. They warn us that there is an eel under rock.

Soon figures of another size take possession of the field. A golden ladder stands on a copper background, Sebastian draws his bow, the tent of the prophet carved in a sacred parchment stands in the desert, a ghost-stained thinker attends the awakening of the mineral.

… The lesson is obvious: matter is vanquished. Better: there is no matter, there is only an infinitely thin fabric of forms. Yet we remain far from abstraction, it would rather concretion that we should speak. Because this chromatic thickness, what is it? It is the subtle worm of a large tree, the inexhaustible vegetable wealth of a turf, the iridescent shades of a rainbow, the plumage of an invisible peacock, the granulation of a thundered mineral.

Grataloup is beyond form and matter. He draws his work from anti-matter.

Michel Tournier from Goncourt Academy - March 4th 1998