Hélène Delprat is double, Actaeon-Diana, one who paints to assure us that painting still stands back from the noise, for having learned to lose itself. To lose.
One cannot say « no » without belonging to the world of the traveller Thomas Hutter, the young clerck in Nosferatu: « And when he had crossed the bridge, the phantoms came to meet him. » But crossing the threshold can mean something more simple than any science of vampires, for all these stories of shadows, of cinema, of stairs, of hands, of love and skulls, call only for one salutatory formula : « Leave here everything you know, become unversed. And travel ! » There is no point looking for a source here: it is in what you do, and that is why Delprat never talks about her painting but only about all the stories that led her there and make the origin unstable. Being impertinent and extricating oneself from the danger of knowledge — this, surely, is the elegance of not saying, of letting people live and look. And, to end as she does with a big burst of laughter, where she still and always hides, here is a kick up the backside à la Benjamin Péret in Derrière les fagots* : (…) and the empty tin of sardines saw itself sainted / A heel hard in the face / and it’s a divinity / swimming in pure honey / ignoring the protozoa / the seahorses / the celestial pebbles that leap from one eye to another (…)
Excerpt from « The universe is the ash of a dead god », written by Corinne Rondeau for the catalogue of Hélène Delprat’s solo show at La maison rouge « I Did It My Way », from June 23rd to September 17th 2017.
* « Et ainsi de suite », in : Derrière les fagots, José Corti, Paris, 1961, p. 108.