« It’s all in the nerves. The nerves that tense and relax as you approach the edges of companionship and love. The razor-sharp edges of companionship and love. »1
Free from the object-picture idea, the tools of painting are used to only keep the “sidelines”. The marks created by the work done within the studio are seized to make what usually remains experimentation visible. Conversely to a scientific experiment, the practice does not benefit to any hypothesis or statement. In a constant reformulation, the formal recycling confines to a stammering state. This methods thus justifies a serial work, in which the remaining material becomes an absolute one, in other words it becomes a deed.
Untitled – Amulet (2016-2017) gathers thirteen sculptures in a landscape made of sizeable canvases (linen, hemp, cotton, shipping canvas…) tied up as South African amulets. Traditionally, the knots personify the desire to control everyday life practical aspects. To knot is a symbol: metaphorically, the hand activates the world.
Because of its original definition, we commonly think that the amulet – a masculine noun used in the Critical Dictionary of French language (1787-1788) – is a lucky charm to carry with you. However, woody vines’ knots as seen in the forest, which represent a great power for ties and connections, can be found in various African populations. In order to get protection from the nature’s genius, seen as a hostile environment, the amulet uses its own elements (wood, roots, cotton, minerals…).
More than the animistic idea, which makes the natural process a spirit, the artwork lies in the process of creation itself. In the case of an amulet, this is a wish conceptualized in the primitive gesture of making knots; in case of an artwork, it is the thought. In a performative action, the meaning merges with the enunciation: « It’s not described, it’s happening. »2
The works are the testimony of a previous confrontation, invisible like the amulet, which is « the continuation, even remote, of a rite which works without ceremony. »3
The painting’s canvas carries, centralizes and celebrates the past facts: it vestiges the work. The object sets up duration. It is a totem for an event that took place in a coincidence between intentions and luck.
Border with the exotic, the project gives a land to the encounter with anthropologic culture and cult. It marries the cultural and dogmatic inheritance of writing with the traditions from the language’s replicas and mutations. Untitled – Amulet (2016-2017) invests the transmission’s in-between – oral or graphic – of the elements of belief. The project necessary characterizes these dialectics since the thing, said over again, endures evolutions and the thing, written, decides by its alien positioning. Thus, the idea of concept tends towards the one of spiritual. It becomes individual and abstract.
 Amuleto, Roberto Bolaño, 1999, Christian Bourgeois publisher, 2013, p.44
 Cy Twombly, Interview with David Sylvester, 2000, Fage Editions 2016, p.28
 Amulettes et talismans d’Afrique noire, Laure Meyer, Sépia Editions, 2010, p.10
COLOUR AND FUGUE - excerpt
« The painter does not paint on an empty canvas, and neither does the writer write on a blank page ; but the page or canvas is already so covered with preexisting, preestablished clichés that it is ﬁrst necessary to erase, to clean, to ﬂatten, even to shred, so as to let in a breath of air from the chaos that brings us the vision. »1
Once the creative drive desinhibited, it’s time to sort through what has emerged.
Once the stake set and the cards dealt, it’s time to take the matters in hand.
During this liberating phase, it is crucial to show critical lucidity, to get a grip of oneself in order to eliminate what has unwittingly found its way on the canvas. Reﬁne, with a sharpened mind, to get to the heart of the matter. Clear the lines of force to focus on meaning. Cool down and organize without losing the impulse, the primal energy - jaunty, vital, euphoric. The artist now must aim for a higher level of satisfaction – satisfaction of progressing on a solid ground – and the spectator wants to take part in an experiment that drives him beyond the simple visual elation.
In Aurélie Belair’s work, the transformation is quickly visible. It is quite rare – not to say exceptional – to see a pictorial discourse and the technique underlying it decant so rapidly. What appears throughout her increasingly rigorous research is directly connected to her other artistical practices – photography or installation.
In Aurélie Belair’s last photo series, the word is used for the ﬁrst time. Phrases are superimposed on images. Linking writing and painting represent a logical continuation of her exploration. But, since it’s the word that connects with the painting, preference is given to the manual quality : the printed character gives way to the scription, the physical act of tracing.
(...) With VOCABULARY, Aurélie Belair’s work gets convincingly organized with full-blown rigour. Once the series’ necessity makes perfect sense, the serial process can be initiated. A creative quest is on the move, with its inherent variations. A series cannot indulge itself in the serendipitous happiness of sensation, it goes through various metamorphosis and articulations. Each new avatar is the logical consequence of the previous one.
The all-over recurrent in VOCABULARY varies in a steady way : an interlacing in white chalk or pastel scratches a coloured background at a regular and perfectly controlled rate, in a gesture of systematical obliteration.
The same technique is applied to the SPEECH LESS series (at the beginning of 2015), when the artist switches from paper to canvas.
More recently, in the STATE OF series, the two medium – writing and painting – are differentiated. The sizes are more modest. The pictorial part occupies a canvas mounted on a stretcher, which doesn’t support a gestual interweaving anymore. It’s more of a monochrome partially abraded, speckled, stained, interestingly enriched in materiality and depth. The graphic
part has seceded : it’s now the second panel of a diptych. Its lines intertwine on the white surface of a marouflaged linen canvas. As if the structure of the first panel was inverted, the canvas is now embedded in a wooden frame painted in white, enhancing its difference in nature.
The script is also organized differently. The interlacing, the tracery disappear in favour of an horizontal configuration. The writing of the previous works has eventually found its own field.
The grapheme has evolved into distinct, shifting, overlapping lines. Their movement, like the lines of a fugue, contrasts with the layers of colour, the vast expanses of pigment.
The diptych can be seen as an open book separating the matter from the idea, the text from the illumination. Mirroring the surface to the groove.
The caesura slicing through the superficial appearances operates between two acts. Instead of simply revealing itself, with an enticing spontaneity, the work gains a new, more nuanced, mystery. By dissociating physically, spatially, two mental images, Aurélie Belair establish a dialectic between the coloured plane and the writing, thereby duplicating the possibilities of variation for each work.
This dichotomy initiates a dialogue, an interaction between two elementary principles : colour and scription. The work is not inscribed in the moment but in its own duration – a duration set by the work itself. Thus, the spectator’s look going back and forth has the time to absorb this confrontation.
 DELEUZE Gilles & GUATTARI Félix, Qu’est-ce que la philosophie ? Les éditions de minuit, 1991, p. 192
Born in 1946 in France, Hubert Besacier is an art critic and curator, member of the Association Internationale des Critiques d’Art (A.I.C.A.). From 1978 to 1983, he was the codirector of the « Symposium International d’Art Performance », involving 135 international artists. From 1983 to 1996, he was the head of « A PRIORI » (exhibits, publications, artistic projects). Until 2011, he worked as a professor in various Ecoles Nationales Supérieures d’Art : Ecole d’art in Marseille Luminy, Ecole Pilote Internationale d’Art et de Recherche (Villa Arson) in Nice, Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Bourges, Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Art in Dijon. He’s a member of the Divisional Research Fellow Curtin University (Perth, Australie), and a long-time collaborator of Gilbert Fillinger and the Maison de la culture d’Amiens, especially for the festival « Art, Villes & Paysage ».
A PREHITORY OF DISCOURSE - excerpt
« This is the work of discourse within us. And this difficulty is expressed in this way : the word silence is still a sound, to speak is in itself to imagine knowing, and to no longer know it would be necessary to no longer speak. »1
If everything, in Aurélie Belair’s work, echoes the language, it’s only to emphasize the artist’s ambivalent attitude towards it. Her passionate love for words is coupled with a jubilation to denominate, while her artistic practice emerges from a deeply felt loss - for the omnipotence of signs is just an illusion. The inner experience described by Bataille exposes this mirage, and the realization that ensues necessarily questions our modalities of being. If the world defy the language, then we must find a new way to shape it.
(...) Aurélie Belair’s pictorial praxis is comparable to a descent in the abyss of the renunciation of discourse. Through its very triviality, the gesture of spreading a colored matter on a surface seems to reflect the urgency of her attachment to the world. The titles of her works denote a residual trust in the evocative power of language, each one pointing to the mark or the fragment of an irredeemable persistency.
(...) The contamination of the canvas2 by snatches of discourses half erased resonate with the vibrations of a rejected voice, the remains of the language’s dogmas. Soon, these tiny relics leave room to what can be referred to as « the allusive field of writing »3. Scribblings and erasures, through their arrangements, charts a prehistory of language. Celebrating the error as the founding act of writing, Aurélie Belair’s practice inscribes itself in a continuous aesthetical process whose conclusion eludes us.
Each of Aurélie Belair’s painting is like an aborted speech, the staging of a linguistic suicide. Nonetheless, each work is marked by a fluctuating alternation, the memory of a sentence, of its syntax, the tenderness of a prose, the harshness of an insult.
(...) In this farewell to the rustle of language eventually emerges an irreductible pleasure principle.
 BATAILLE Georges, L’expérience intérieure, 1943, Editions Gallimard, 2009, p. 25
 But Who Wants An Easy Life, It’s Boring !, 2014
 BARTHES Roland, Ecriture, Non multa sed multum, in Yvon Lambert, Catalogue raisonné des
oeuvres sur papier, volume 6, 1973-1976, Multiplia Edizioni, Milan, 1979
Laure Jaumouillé is an art historian and critic for the review 02. She has published in Mouvement, artpress and Frog. Starting in September 2009, she worked on the Centre Pompidou Metz’s inaugural exhibition « Chefs-d’oeuvres ? » under the direction of Laurent Le Bon, before joining the programming department as a director of research and exhibitions ( « Erre, variations labyrinthiques », « Vues d’en-haut »). Since October 2012, she has followed the Experimentation in Art and Politics program founded by Bruno Latour at Sciences Po (SPEAP) while teaching cultural politics, focusing on the subject of international artistic dialogue, to Masters students in the cultural concentration of public affairs.