18 rue des Quatre Fils 75003 Paris
September 6 - October 6, 2018

I’ve been wondering how to start for a while now — I’ve written several beginnings that I found equally satisfying — which I thought was precisely the problem — no beginning seemed better or worse that the others which could only be a bad sign — at least that’s what I thought even though I didn’t know precisely why — but then if I think about it again now what I didn’t like was probably the fact that all of these beginnings seemed to point in a specific direction — a kind of goal — although I didn’t have any and didn’t want one — I’ve never liked what the image of a target conveys — I’ve always looked away — the very idea of a goal always seemed a bit disap- pointing to me — a bit dull — there were many things that I wanted to talk about but I wanted to be surprised by how I would get there — and leave — I didn’t want to know in advance the conclusion of what I thought of as a walk — of course you rarely go for a walk without a vague destination — or at least a small idea in the back of your mind — but what’s important isn’t so much the destination but the journey itself — it’s a platitude I know — and that’s why I use it like I would take the bus or the metro — to gain speed — and by the way I usually come here by bus or by metro — and I imagine you do too — except for those who preferred the taxi — or were lucky enough to come by foot — and although we all ended up in front of the same door I still think the way we got here could affect what comes next — I hear that « there is a beginning to everything » — which I totally understand — or rather that I better understand the other way around — « everything is a beginning » — only you don’t notice — you only notice later — when you arrive at the end — and the end retrospectively brings you back to its beginning — which I actually do quite often when I finish a book — I go back to the beginning and read the first sen- tence again — to measure the distance I’ve traveled — to come back where things could have taken another path — and this first sentence is now full of everything that happens afterwards — which makes it a bit prophetic in retrospect — like a formula that would contain everything that comes afterwards — as if you were gathering momentum — to jump into the book — storming in — some writers are particularly good at it — I don’t know how — or if you can learn — I’d like to learn — you can practice I guess — surely — but a certain flair and elegance will always distin- guish some entrances — a certain nonchalance that is precisely the opposite of a studied senten- ce — you don’t learn how to enter a room either— yet some people are really good at making an entrance — they build up expectations — gather momentum — you know straight away it’s not going to be boring — you’re already waiting for what comes next — and you can tell it’s not studied — otherwise it would have the opposite effect — you can tell that the person has no

idea how he made his entrance — he just enters the room and it all seems very natural — almost expected — in retrospect — by the way I wonder if most of the writers actually know where they’re going before they write the first sentence — or if the first sentence isn’t a way of taking the plunge — an insane bet — which would explain why the first sentences are so beautiful and full of promises impossible to keep— maybe some writers even have a whole pile of first sen- tences in storage — first sentences that never lead to any story — aborted impulses — saved for later — that someone might find one day in a notebook — hidden in a drawer — which will give us an idea of what the writer didn’t write — of what he could have written — and the temptation will be great to compile all these first sentences — to edit a collection — pile up all these entrances — as if you could compile all the times someone enters this room for instance — to make a film — one second — two at the most before the person leaves the screen — and ano- ther appears — goes to the left — cut — another to the right — cut — another freezes to take a decision — cut — another again — slightly hesitant — goes back straight away — cut — and the light barely changes between each shot — signaling the interval of time between each entrance — then suddenly the light changes dramatically — a day has passed — it’s already the next day — and the dance of entrances starts again — not as intense — the light flashes are more visible — certain people start to appear on screen repeatedly— several times in the same day — then again the following day — in different clothes — and the different outfits become markers in the successions of days — and seasons — and as the movie plays you start to see small shifts in fashion — cuts and colours changing imperceptibly each time someone goes through the door — some people coming back regularly — others after years — underlining different cycles that overlap and mix — it would make a great film — maybe a bit boring from time to time — but still it’s rather a good start for a film — a film made only of entrances — and each one could be the beginning of a story — a different story each time — written in retrospect — depending on how it unfolds — and watching the film again — months or years later — you would probably be sur- prised at how it started — this first entrance so shy — almost poignant— strange way to start — this figure entering cautiously and doubting it’s the right place — even though it’s not very important in the end — the film could have started in a thousand different ways — and still be the same film — it could even have started with a joke why not — someone stumbling in — that would be fantastic — an entrance in full loss of balance — or an opening scene that starts with a halt — someone enters fast and determined and realizes his shoelace is untied — I can see it clearly — like braking when you start the engine — and even though I have no particular model of shoes in mind I imagine them rather white — with black shoelaces — bringing out the nice curves of the laces running down from the top of the shoe to the floor — like a mountain road — I like this image a lot — even though an untied shoelace is more likely to exasperate me — with the thought of having to step aside — out of the way — and preferably somewhere I can put my foot up to avoid kneeling down — which is very unpleasant when you’re in the street — but that I sometimes bring myself to do when the alternative is to walk with an untied shoelace — espe- cially if it’s raining — that image is even more unpleasant — but it’s not the case this time — this time the shoelace is brand new and it’s making all these curves on the floor — it’s rather captiva- ting — and if I wasn’t in the way maybe I would even take some time to study the best way to take these curves — all these twists and turns leading who knows where — I could step aside to get out of the way — and take time to look at the road weaving from the floor to the top of my shoe — but then the road would already be different — entirely reshaped by this simple move — entirely reshaped at each and every one of my steps — even if it stayed the exact same length —

and the more I think about it the more tempting it is to keep on moving that way — my eye on the untied shoelace — drawing a new road with each step — a new way of traveling the same distance — pointing each time in a new direction — towards a new destination — I could try to follow its lead to see how it goes — the place is not bad — the way is clear — and there’s not a lot of traffic — I shouldn’t be disturbed — and after all — if someone catches me in the middle of the room — absorbed in the contemplation of my shoe — I will only need to bend down and tie my shoelace — my alibi is at the ready— and I’d just have to postpone the experience — I don’t think I would forget — I can count on the next time my shoelace will be untied to remind me — even if it’s not for a while — since I probably will have tied my shoelace a bit too firmly — to show the person who just came in that I know perfectly what I’m doing — and then I’ll have a hard time trying to divert my attention from the slight imbalance between my feet — one nice and tight — a bit too tight even — ready to go forward — and the other a bit loose in compari- son — even sliding now — not as willing — and this imbalance will surely disrupt my train of thought — and inevitably bring me back to the day when the sole of one of my shoes came off entirely in the middle of the mountains — funny how often I think about it — I had never seen anything like it — I didn’t even think it could happen — that a sole could come off entirely just like that — and leave you in your socks so to speak right in the middle of a steep and rocky slope — I remember picking up the sole and staring at it for a while before I understood that I had a real problem — a problem that I never could have anticipated — even though I was well prepa- red — my bag was full of everything I could imagine I could need — which means my bag was rather heavy — so all these things that were supposed to help me were now part of the problem — and all these thoughts were coming to my mind while I was staring at the sole — that I never had looked at closely before — all these complicated ridges— this network of trenches in which I had been collecting pieces of earth and all sorts of small stones without knowing — samples of soils of various colours and consistencies — all mixed up — a mixture that I was constantly stir- ring without even noticing — and carrying with me everywhere — until it dried up — and fell in crumbs a bit everywhere — for years and years I had been wearing these shoes each time I took a walk in the mountains or in the woods — which gave me a blind faith in them — I thought they were indestructible — only this time however much I looked at the sole — turning it over and over in my hand — all bumpy on one side and perfectly smooth on the other — I couldn’t see how I would make it through this time — I could tell it was the beginning of something — but I didn’t find this beginning particularly inspiring — at least at the time I didn’t find it very inspiring — and I couldn’t understand how a sole could suddenly come off with no warning signs — and without breaking — it was as if suddenly the glue had stopped sticking — as if it had changed its properties overnight— as if the sole had never been glued — it looked brand new — and stuck there all this time on the good faith of its manufacturer — as if he had forgotten to put glue on this shoe years before but only noticed now — and I was hoping that this person would still believe he had glued my shoe — I tried to picture the factory in which it was made — and as far as I knew it could just as well be in Switzerland as in Papua — I was really stunned by all this — and an avalanche of thoughts kept on pouring in my head — with no real link with the nature of the problem I had to resolve — and however much I tried to follow each of these paths — like you would follow one by one with your finger all of the entangled lines hoping to find the one that leads to the treasure — they all ended up at the starting point — so that’s where I had to look — and since the problem came from my shoe — I thought the solution had to be there too — the laces of these kind of shoes are very long — how long exactly I had no idea — but certain-

ly long enough to give me ideas about what I could do with them — so I untied my shoe entirely — and I used the shoelace to attach the sole — and tighten the whole thing as best I could to give it a semblance of order— the result was far from amazing but at least I could put my foot on the ground without cutting it open with each step — which was already a huge improvement — I was starting to get back a bit of the agility I was going to need to get to the top — which see- med to take twice as long as necessary — not so much because the sole was slipping some on the edges— giving me the impression of walking on ice — but because I could not take my eyes off it — supervising the decaying evolution of my band-aid — hoping it would hold at least to the top — where I will necessarily see things differently — that was the plan anyway — and it went rather well — except for the fact that the only images I keep of this climb are of a badly tied package miraculously hanging to my foot — interrupted here and there by spectacular land- scapes — at which I would take a brief look at during the short breaks I would sometimes take from the meticulous contemplation of my lousy shoe — but this gave me a lot of time to think — and realize that even with well tied shoes — when you walk in the mountains you still spend more time looking at your feet than at the landscape — if you don’t want to trip over and twist your ankle — and in the end it’s maybe one of the main differences between walking in the mountains and in the city — where obstacles are not so much to be feared under your feet — but rather in front of you or on the sides — that’s what I thought anyway watching my feet land each time on a new spot— as if to arrive at the top of this mountain I first had to go up a whole series of miniature mountains — more or less model replicas— that I could compare with the ori- ginal simply by looking up — going from closest to farthest in one glimpse — until the top of one of these miniature mountains coincides with the top of the real mountain — and I can sit down on this double summit to have a rest — look up in front of me — to the horizon waiting there — languid — casual — a prospect that looks obvious as long as you follow its lead — but that can change dramatically if you’re sitting a bit more to the right or to the left — if you’re a full head taller or shorter — a prospect that only exists from a single point of view — at eye level — a panorama — I remember saying this word in my head — and asking myself what it meant pre- cisely — but that I only learned much later — years later — just now actually — I just looked on Wikipedia — which by the way will soon be a super corny sentence to say — the kind of senten- ce that immediately gives away the generation you belong to — actually « super corny » starts to be slightly corny too — but let’s move on — for the moment I can still say that I went on Wikipedia without raising an eyebrow around me — and I can even take the risk of saying that I copy pasted some parts of what I found — that I clicked on a link to find the rest — and that’s how I learned that the word panorama just turned 229 — which is really young for a word — not as young as Wikipedia that’s 17 — but it probably won’t age as fast — actually the word panora- ma is so young that we still remember who pronounced it for the first time — a certain Robert Barker — an Irish painter — who needed a word to talk about his huge paintings of the roofs of Edinburgh — so he put together the Greek words « pan » and « horama » — « all » and « view » — to talk about his cylindrical paintings in which you would enter — and look at from inside — spinning around — like some kind of reverse sculpture — turned inside out like a glove — at least that’s how I see it — and very fast the word was used to talk about any kind of wide scope image — stretched on the sides — although I didn’t read anything on Wikipedia that said how much you should stretch the image to be able to say it’s panoramic — at least not before cinema got involved — in the 50’s — and set different formats — spectacular formats perfectly suited to wide open spaces — and much appreciated by Western film makers — at a moment when the

movie industry was alarmed by the arrival of small screens into people’s homes —round screens that looked like portholes — with the risk of people shutting themselves in like in submarines — and cinema was well aware of this danger — and started stretching its images like chewing-gum — breaking down walls and bringing in as much of the outside as possible — or even better pro- ject these elastic images on outside screens — in front of a bunch of cars — superimposing onto a real landscape plunged into darkness a landscape in Technicolor truer than nature — so that people would keep on going out — leaving their little square images inside — square images with rounded angles like speech bubbles — barely bigger than a book — turned 90° — and whose proportions were also set — years and years before — when cinema wasn’t talking yet — and stories were told in black and white — the format had barely changed since the first Lumière Brothers film — since the door of their factory opened in Lyon to let their employees out — and cinema started to spread everywhere — a simple door that opens — and the first actors made their entrance without knowing — by leaving work — each in his or her own way — walking briskly — laughing — heckling — or head down under a hat — well aware of being filmed — playing their own role with more or less success — heading towards one side of the screen or the other — the film only lasted forty seconds — a kind of ad — in a squarish format that remai- ned the standard for a long time in cinema — then in TV — but inside this square there was already an elongated rectangle — the vertical rectangle of the door — through which the employees were coming out — a panoramic frame turned 90° — through which the actors were making their entrance — before quickly disappearing off-screen — a vertical panorama very fashionable these days — because it fits nicely in the hand — and fits well in the pocket — a miniature door — that you can carry everywhere — a portable emergency exit — a door format — we could name it that way — a very narrow frame — squeezed on both sides by the off- screen — surrounded by a panoramic off-screen — a frame in which you can appear and disap- pear in a blink — to go elsewhere faster — where we’d like to be already — where we should be — in the ever wider and more desirable off-screen stretching as far as the eye can see — promi- sed and uncharted land — where one could start a new life — the panoramic vastness of all the places we’re not — and the vertical panorama guides you towards this boundless land — outli- ning the door to show us out — a make-believe exit of course — to pretend to say goodbye — to hide off-screen and come back two seconds later — to see the look on people’s faces — and start again differently — once — twice — which ends up making a rather strange movie — in which the main character keeps on saying goodbye — and coming back with the feeling of having forgotten something — each time you think this is the one — that it’s going to move on — and the story will finally begin — until you understand the whole story is nothing but a never ending goodbye — a story made with everything it leaves behind — like leaving for holidays — when you turn in circles in your head to try to remember what you forgot — only this time it’s the audience itself that has been forgotten — and stays in the dark — waiting for someone to remember — until the door opens again — and the main character comes in scratching his head — looking in every corner to find clues of what he’s supposed to look for — a film a bit silly actually — an investigation with no purpose conducted by a detective with no client — who will most likely loose his audience from not knowing where to begin to get his way — from changing his mind every 5 seconds — wondering what he should show and what he should hide to land on his feet — ultimately surprising everybody — suddenly coming back to his starting point — thanks to a final unpredictable twist— that switches around the whole story — putting on a new face — a severe face — though until now nobody took him seriously — and that was even his

plan— to pretend to be a fool — to muddy the waters — to divert attention from his real secret investigation — whose solution suddenly comes to light — an ending that he secretly planned from the beginning — and the only purpose of the entire story was to hide it — even though it dropped hints— beating about the bush to avoid drawing attention — although it was right there from the start — a writer did that once — what a marvelous idea — deciding from the start the last word of the book — that’s a goal I can relate to — especially since he chose the word mayonnaise — and chose it right at the beginning — to be able to start — and in the entire book there is absolutely no mention of any mayonnaise — even if he knew that in one way or another that’s where he was heading — he kept this goal in a corner of his mind — even if he wasn’t constantly thinking about it — and I always wondered if he ended up there by chance — oh that’s where I put the mayonnaise — ok well the story is finished — or if he decided it was time to reach out for the jar — but the most likely in my opinion is that the mayonnaise came back by itself — that the idea of ending like that suddenly came to him — as if the mayonnaise was away all that time — on a trip — under the radar — and quietly came back at some point to put an end to this story — a sort of boomerang that he would have thrown at the beginning of the book — to which he stopped paying attention afterwards — until it came back right in his face — and the story is over — I like that image better — because it’s a bit sad to think that he finally got to the corner of his mind where he left the mayonnaise jar — opened it and that’s it — surely it’s more fun to think that the corner of his mind came back to him — that the entire architecture of his novel spun all around him until everything came back into place — and the mayonnaise jar came back right under his nose — where he left it in the first place — at the corner of the table — he might even have been staring at it the whole time — without seeing it — without explai- ning it — and suddenly he realized he was absorbed in the contemplation of a dumb mayonnai- se jar — woke up so to speak — when the thing before his eyes and the word he’d left in the cor- ner of his mind became one and the same again — and this awakening signaled the end of the book — a return to its beginning — to his initial intention — the corner of the table came back to its initial place — like a boomerang — as if he had cut out the corner of his table — thrown it in the air — and followed its trajectory — until it came back to its place — till the boomerang and the corner of the table became one and the same thing — and in the end nothing had chan- ged — except for the memory of the curve — rolled up in the book he just wrote like in a tape measure — a book whose length is exactly the same as the curve he followed with his eyes — and that ended up bringing him back to his mayonnaise jar — and to the room — that’s how I imagine the scene anyway — I see him writing in a kitchen — and stopping suddenly staring at the mayonnaise jar — looking around — it’s already dark — he should turn the lights on — but it would ruin the moment — the electric light would make everything too yellow or too blue — and throw a harsh light on the room full of objects — details would become hyper-realistic — all the objects would start speaking at the same time — and I don’t see him very receptive to the hubbub — because he has just finished a book after all — and that’s enough for today — it alrea- dy took him a while to think through the mayonnaise jar — it would take him several years to lis- ten to what all of these objects around him have to say — it would take several days just to list them — all these things that come a little bit from everywhere — that form a random sample of his era— and of the planet on which he lives — like anywhere else though — even in an almost empty room — even here where objects aren’t very numerous — if you start to list all the mate- rials for instance — and their origin — if you go back to the tree from which was made the sligh- test pencil — the ground from which was extracted the steel of the slightest nail — you would

end up with an endless list of credits — a wonderful credits too — that could just as much be the closing credits as the opening sequence — a genealogy of the place — of its transformations — of the various occupations of its inhabitants — and visitors — their respective expectations — their projects — ambitions — their hope to recover some day their earliest intuitions — their profound motivations — first impressions — and each new item coming in or out would contri- bute to the story — and after a while we would probably witness new trends — changes in the choice of objects — of materials — a new aesthetic — new miniature geopolitics — with every new coat of paint — of course the credits would have to be updated non stop — which would be slightly fastidious — like describing the weather in real time — it doesn’t seem very reasonable — or to try to put words on the changes of your mood — your instant joys — needless disap- pointments— impatience — boredom — resignation — resistance — and after a while you won’t be able to tell anymore if you’re recording these changes or provoking them — if you’re running late or early — if you’re pursuing yesterday’s projects — or polishing tomorrow’s memories — and that’s probably why I turned away from this project — even if I regularly come back to it — I have a few projects that I keep for later — with which I’m starting to have history — aging pro- jects — old friends — actually I first thought of starting with one of them — a project that’s important to me — a very simple idea — transforming weather forecasts into a movie — even though I don’t really know what that means — maybe precisely because I don’t know what it means — and how I would write a script that can be described in a few lines — a few lines that would set the scene — draw attention — that would allow you to relate — see yourself there already — the sun rising each day a bit later — and setting a bit earlier — imperceptibly — only a few minutes — like a very slow fade — while the moon would get closer and further from earth without contradicting predictions— meticulously adjusting its axis to align with the sun for an instant — throwing their full weight together — pulling together on the same side of Earth — distorting its surface — and causing the biggest tides of the year — while anticyclones start for- ming from the north of the Atlantic to east of Europe — favoring high pressure — and bringing dry and often sunny weather from the British Isles and France to southern Scandinavia up to Russia — raising daytime temperatures — whereas nights would be closer to seasonal average — or even lower — and Autumn rain would be late — except in Iceland and from northern Scandinavia to northern Russia — as well as from Portugal to the Balkans where stormy condi- tions would be feared — in other words — if we were asked to wrap it up — and if you don’t mind an old-fashioned — but perfectly wise expression — it would be a nice month of September — with a certain mildness too

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