Another Entry into the Heart of the World
It was in 2009 that Richard Texier inaugurated a singular series of paintings called Chaosmos, which now numbers some hundred pieces, a series in which he continues to work in parallel to the more recent Pantheo-Vortex pieces. “Chaosmos.” This portmanteau word was coined by James Joyce in Finnegans
Wake, in 1939, in one of its vertiginous sentences, as if he sensed and was artistically verifying that the cosmos could be maintained only if it embraced chaos. Better, that the cosmos and chaos are part of a great continuum in which order and disorder are inextricably linked. In the early 1970s Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari revisited Joyce’s chaosmos, notably in Mille Plateaux ( Thousand
Plateaus), to affirm: “Chaos is not the opposite of rhythm, but the milieu of all milieus.” It is, literally, this “milieu of all milieus” that Texier, as an astrophysicist of painting, seeks to decrypt and recreate. Chaosmos is none other than a celebration of energy as a summary of the history of the world. The history of a painting here constitutes an experimental field, a metaphor for the turbulences and eddies of the universe. The origin of the painting was a tellurian magma, a hurly-burly, pulling in the matter of the pigments, of ash, of fire, something like a genesis that, little by little, becomes stable. What is put into play here is the revelation of a kind of black matter, but which irresistibly points towards the light and borrows a multitude of resting points embodied by pebbles or flat stones. The change of becoming, plurality, empathy, opposition, contradiction, combat—all the movements of the real are there, fully present, but seen under the fluid sign of interdependence. Texier conceives each painting as an open system made to condense the diversity of life.
POLARITIES THAT PRODUCE LIFE
In the fireworks of chaotic particles that is the painting, pigments begin to slide, slip into the little holes between reliefs. Lumps form, variations in density, native intensities. The ambition here is to speak speed, aspiration. In the very unpredictability of the chaotic rustling spirals of order emerge continually. On these spirals, nothing exists in isolation. Everything echoes, everything communicates: the notions of centre and confine vanish. Apogeedecline, full-empty, back-forth, shadowlight. Polarities that produce life. Suave or shattering similarities of fractal spaces. What goes comes back, what comes back goes. Only transformation is immutable,
the shifting base of the world. The swell of atoms, succession of metamorphoses: transition is the only rule. With Texier, painting is once again an exercise in speculative cosmology. “Yin and yang,” says Zhuangzi, “dialogue and harmonize.” In the depths of the painting, as in the depths of the sky or the heart, the soft hardens, the hard softens. Everything invokes things other than itself. At the summit of its energy tension, the cube is so cubic that it becomes a sphere, and when the sphere attains its perfection, it switches to its becoming-cube. Is it not the ultimate refinement of the universe when this chaos tiring of its over-fullness of chaos returns to equilibrium in order to appease its waves? This chaos which shuffles and reshuffles all the cards to end obsessively at a new point of equilibrium, this chaos which spontaneously organizes its stability to the degree that it provides matrices hospitable to life? In
fine, equilibrium returns, splendidly, with phenomenal generosity, so sumptuously harmonious that again and tirelessly it calls for a return to chaos.
GATHERING UNIVERSAL ENERGY
I am trying, Texier seems to be saying, to find metaphors to dialogue with the forces of the world. Neither more nor less than that. This is called art, a simulacrum seeking tirelessly to say the world. To transcribe its sap, its respiration, its rhythm, its energy. Energy, that is the keyword here. A putting-into-movement, where everything can be translated. If I observe Texier’s teeming trajectory, I wonder if it is not, deep down, this continuous and almost carnal contact with energy that enables him to transcend the lazy dichotomy: either reject tradition or follow the rules. Never linear, he unremittingly privileges a circular dynamic, proceeding by cycles, spirals or mental seasons. The very idea of chronological logic is inapplicable for him when it comes to rawly expressing the polyphony ( polyfolly) that moves us. All his work, indeed, could be considered a poetic putting on trial of discursive reason as the ordinary functional principle of the mind. From one series to another, from the Ca
lendriers lunaires conceived in the 1980s to the Pantheo-Vortex series starting in 2011, Texier has drawn on a long meditation on the intimate, almost amorous correspondence between the cosmic and the pictorial. He has constantly, in his own terms, “embraced the universal energy.” Without feints, without crutches, it is as if he has emptied himself in favor of his paintings and sculptures. He carries celebration in his heart, but he could not celebrate the cosmos without delighting in chaos, without listening to its endless creativity, its fathomless aesthetic, its inconceivable drunkenness. Like the T’ang poets who put their seal on dream stones or eternity stones, Texier’s chaosmic canvases sign the tremors of space-time, interstellar rhythms. He makes, unmakes and remakes a universe in constant vibration. Like the American researchers who, in March 2014, observed for the first time the traces of “gravitational waves” continuing from the Big Bang, he strives to get the oldest light into the world into his painting, the light that still covers our sky with its last glows. What do we see in Chaosmos? An ordered and disordered world that is still expanding, a still becoming present, an ocean of possibilities. All eddying metaphors of our destiny, on the edge of meaning and non-meaning.
Translation, C. Penwarden Zéno Bianu’s many books cover the fields of poetry, theatre, visual arts and the Orient, and are published, among others, by Gallimard and Fata Morgana.