Born in Rouen (1973), Guillaume Montier paints and exhibits since 1994.
Loving series, he alternates improvisation and questioning to wonder about existence, its void or fullness. About his series “Les Tragédies”, based on the chair as object of life and death, he declares: “Any tragedy is defined by the perseverance of the subjects to inevitably dissolve themselves in the hell they’ve been calling for. in such a way, the chairs most of the time are only inhabited by the contingency of the event: to get up or to sit down. Only these two moments can pretend containing life. The rest is just the gaping void.”
Under his brushes, the chair, austere, emerging in a cold environment, loses its hospitality to slide from a rest object to a pernicious and tempting source of abandonment, renunciation or even perdition, the metaphor of a gallows we erect for ourselves. A philosophical painting built on the contradictions between action and thought, movement and passivity.
Anne Carson - Poetry, Essays, Opera
D E S P I T E H E R P A I N, A N O T H E R D A Y
River fogs (7 am) stray and begin, shiver and begin
on the September mill rocks.
Bits of leaf mirror along. I have arrived at my sanity.
Evidence (7 pm): while she medicates I walk by the river.
Millwheel smells like wet cornhusk.
On my back (2.38 am) in the dark at Dorset Motel I listen to the radiator click
and to her, awake on the other side of town
in the hot small room
gripping a glow-in-the-dark rosary.
Whatever they say about time, life only moves in one direction,
that’s a fact, mirroring along.
River fogs (7 am) go flayed and silvery
when it dawns dark
on the day I leave.
DANGER DO NOT DROP OR DRAG ANCHOR
reads a sign just off the selvedges.
Mindingness gulps us.
Her on the bed as bent twigs.
Me, as ever, gone.
The Silence of Georg Trakl
The Autumn of the Lonely
Dark autumn comes all filled with fruit and plenty,
The yellowed gleam oflovely summer days.
Pure blueness breaks from a decayed shell;
The flight ofbirds resounds with ancient legends.
The wine is pressed, the mild silence
Replete with obscure questions ofa gentle reply.
And here and there a cross upon a desolate hill;
Aherd is lost to sight in the red wood.
The cloud drifts over the mirror ofthe pond;
The peasant's peaceful gesture is at rest.
Evening's blue wing most gently brushes
A roofofsparse straw, the black earth.
Soon stars will nestle in the tired man's brow;
Into cool chambers steals a calm content
And angels gently enter the blue eyes
Oflovers whose suffering is milder.
Reeds rustle; out springs a bony horror,
When black the dew drips out ofbarren willows.
Nothing more can break the silence of desolation. Above the sombre, ancient tree-tops the clouds float by mirrored in the greenish-blue waters of the lake which appears bottomless. And motionless, as though plunged into mournful resignation, the tranquil surface reposes - day in, day out.
At the centre ofthe silent lake, a castle rears up to the clouds with its sharp, ragged towers and roofs. Weeds tumble over the black, broken walls and sunlight rebounds from the round, clouded windows. Doves fly about in the gloomy, dark courtyards and seek shelter in the crevices ofwalls.
They seem to fear something, for they fly in shy haste past the windows. Below in the courtyard a fountain plashes with a dim light sound. Now and then the thirsting doves drink from a bronze fountain basin.
Through the narrow, dusty alleyways ofthe castle a stifling, feverish breath is wafted, making the bats flutter up in fright. Nothing else disturbs the deep silence.
Yet the great rooms are all black with dust! High, bare and frosty, and filled with derelict objects. At times a tiny gleam pierces the clouded windows and once more the darkness swallows it up. Here the past has died.
Here it has petrified at some moment into a single, distorted rose. Heedlessly time passes its insubstantiality by.
And the silence ofdesolation permeates everything.
Noone mayforce their way into the park any more. The branches ofthe trees are locked in a thousandfold embrace; the whole park is nothing but a single gigantic living being.
And everlasting night weighs heavily beneath the giant canopy of leaves.
And deepest silence! And the air is saturated with the musty vapours of decay!
Yet sometimes the park is roused from its troubled dreams. It then exudes recollections ofstarlit nights, ofdeep hidden secret places, where it spied on fevered kisses and embraces, ofsummer nights filled with ardent splendour and glory, when the moon conjured up confused images upon the black background, of people who walked beneath its leafy canopy with gentle grace, replete with rhythmic motion, people who exchanged sweet, mad, murmured words and subtle alluring smiles.
And then the park sinks back once more into its death-like slumber. Upon the waters the shadows ofcopper beeches and firs are swayed and a sad, muted murmur rises from the depths ofthe lake.
Swans glide across the gleaming waters, slowly stretching up their slender necks, motionless and stiff. On they glide! Around the defunct castle! Day in, day out!
Pallid lilies grow by the edge ofthe lake in amongst garish grasses. And the shadows they cast on the waters are paler than themselves.
And when these have died away, others come up from the deep. And they are like little, dead female hands.
Great curious fish swim about the pallid flowers with staring, glassy eyes and plunge once more into the deep - without a sound!
And the silence ofdesolation permeates everything.
High up there in the crumbling chamber ofthe tower sits the count. Day in, day out.
With his eyes he follows the clouds which float by over the tree-tops, resplendent and pure. He is glad to see the sun as it glows amongst the clouds at eventide when it is setting. He listens for every sound in the heights: for the cry ofa bird that flies past the tower or for the resonant blast ofthe wind as it sweeps about the castle.
He sees how that park lies in its dull and heavy sleep, and watches the swans glide across the glittering waters as they swim about the castle. Day in, day out!
And the waters have a greenish-blue sheen. Yet in the waters the clouds are mirrored as they float above the castle, and the shadows they cast upon the waters have a pure and luminous gleam no less than their own. The waterlilies beckon to him like little dead female hands, and they sway in sad reverie Some nights when the tempest hurtles about the tower, so that walls reverberate to their foundations and the birds scream in fright outside his windows, the count is overcome by an unspeakable sadness.
Disaster weighs upon his age-old, exhausted soul.
And he presses his face against the window and looks out into the night.
Everything then appears to him gigantic and dreamlike, ghostly! And terrible. He hears the storm raging through the castle as though it wanted to sweep out all that is dead and gone and scatter it to the winds.
Yet when the confused image of night dies away like a shade summoned up - everything is once more permeated by the silence of desolateness.
Silent by the forest's edge dark game
By the hill the evening breeze gently dies,
The blackbird's lament falls silent,
And the soft flutes of autumn
Are at peace in the reeds.
Upon a black cloud
You travel drunk with poppy seed
The night-dark pond,
The starry heavens.
Sister's moon-like voice ever sounds
Through the sacred night.