The Palimpsest


The Medium


The observation

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There is a temporality which is specific to palimpsests. Upon this materializes a singular geometry of time - made up of disorganized sedimentation, successive deposits coming from memory and true-life experiences, but also of renewals, returns and recurrences.

Palimpsest : Eclipse en pays de Caux
"Time" is no longer inevitably fading away, an irreversible linear process which leads to entropy. "Time" no longer unfolds: it turns back, settles down, reconstructs itself, magnifies itself; it transcends and poeticizes itself. The "Palimpsest's " artist imagines himself philosopher of the eternal return, of the reversibility and the primitiveness of the world. He imagines himself an archeologist finding lost yesterdays or releasing vestiges from alluviums of time.

He imagines himself an epigrapher uncovering inscriptions which, as a result of their resurgence, have become reinscriptions. He imagines he is a gold panner gathering nuggets, searching not the earth, but the wood, searching for gold in the form of memories... Perhaps he even imagines himself a wizard applying pressure to underground sources and inducing them to flow forth.

Palimpsest : Arbre sur la Loire & données GPS
But undoubtedly Yann Hervis imagines himself, above all else, an alchemist. He recognizes the profound sense of metamorphosis. His work is like the alchemist's "Grand Oeuvre": the medium veiled and unveiled, covered and uncovered, acquiring a Sense: the slats of wood lose their opacity, becoming lace and filigree. The vegetable matter once stripped, smoothed, polished and labored over, almost becomes a mineral: fossilized wood, gypsum flower, driftwood... Certain essences take on an ethereal delicacy, like a damascening in wood, while others, denser, are the opposite.

So the palimpsest rises to its statute of Art Object; a singular art which goes beyond surfaces and is inscribed in an alchemy of the deep.