Version française

The Sky At His Fingertips , by Marc-Alain Ouaknin, in The Sky At His Fingertips, Paris-Musées/Actes Sud, 2004

Hands, the sky, a tree, faces, and an encounter! That's how Jean Daviot's work could be summed up.

But can any artist's work really be summed up?

An oeuvre cannot be reduced to a few words, even if its poetic quality sometimes creates the illusion of a splendid, sweeping transcendence.

An oeuvre is outreach, a swelling of life, time and space, of breath and spirit. An artist can't be summed up - but that doesn't mean we have to shut up!

You can talk about an oeuvre - or rather, with one.
That's one of its basic functions: to give us the chance to talk. Even when we're silent.

Because then we dialogue with silence.

Naturally I can't say "what" Jean Daviot's work is about. Too much risk of locking him up inside a theme and destroying all the power of his inventivity, his creativity - his oeuvre.

So I'm opting for a dialogue on the work,
a dialogue like lips or shorelines,
like riverbanks: a strange mouth,
a "hole with soft edges" as Michel Serres puts it in his intriguingly titled Does Love Make Beasts of Us?

These mouths, these "holes with soft edges" are both the focus and the periphery of Jean Daviot's work.

These spaces are home to hands and trees; sometimes faces; and often fingers, mouths and genitals.

Women's genitals
- men's too.

Let's not forget that enigmatic saying: "There's no such thing as sexual relations..."
So nothing about those relations here: anything related ends up adulterated.

© Editions Paris-Musées / Actes Sud, 2004.