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MorticiaNumskull

Now and then I see a top of the mountain of the art of underground artists, used by our music. Euronymous Bosch, Gustav Dorée and H.H.Geiger has mostly become ripped off by the bands who really didn't look deeper. Sometimes it even looks that our scene art only exist by Dan Seagrave and some logo designers. To promote more of the real underground artwork I found the incredible work of Francoise Duvivier, a parisienne with a straight vision to the end of all our lives.

-MorticiaNumskull:
If never seen such a work that represent the subject death in such a strong way. So, the first question is, why are you dealing so much with this subject and why is it the only thing that reflects in your collages?

-Françoise Duvivier:
     Since our birth, we're condemned persons, having more pain all along our life, which appears in a cruel struggle to me. It's sure that in front of this whole ocean of cruelty and darkness, the majority of mankind is creating a false and romantic world full of lies, a world where bloody shadows continue living. It all depends on the way of life you've chosen and you can say to me that the world is wonderful, soft and peaceful, you're free to say no. But I can answer you that on the contrary I see hate, plenty of wars and perfect killers. I also can say that we're just this organic meat, crying, wearing our cruel suffering through a dark destiny. We don't hold our future in our hands and we can't dominate our death. Death is powerful and strong. I'm obsessed by death, I always reflect it in my collages. It is because I want to exorcize it, and perhaps, death appeals to me because it's strong and unknown too. I know that if I face to death, I might discover the unknown. I like very much the Shamans travels between our two worlds: the one of life and death. And you always come back to life with something more which I can't describe. It's my philosophy about death. I know that it brings me something after facing it.

-MorticiaNumskull:
How do you create this macabre collages. Where do you use all those samples and pictures from?

-Françoise Duvivier:
    It's magic. Indeed I've some difficulties to explain how I create all this. I don't have any preconceived ideas before doing this collages. It's the deep mystery of an uncontrolled meeting between me and the image. These images are more special parts of paper in grey, black and white, parcels of destroyed images. These samples come from various books I find in the libraries. They feature often nudes, babies, human anatomies, skulls, dolls and more...
    I don't want to use these complete pictures, I have to destroy them and to create something else with them.

-MorticiaNumskull:
Is their anything you paint by yourself on your collages, or is every particle of your collages taken from something?

-Françoise Duvivier:
     I rarely paint on my collages. It happens sometimes that I like to draw some kind of black and with nervous slashes on them. It's a spontaneous need and often I want these slashes, to be broken and clumsy. I don't know why. Sometimes it seems to me that these slashes look like some dark diseases on the body or death which is invading these corpses.
     I try to play with the various palettes of grey/white, grey and black colours, and so I create a world made of macabre ashes. These bodies are made for me out of grey dust, and I try to express this feeling with some of grey and black papers. It's a difficult work and I'm rarely satisfied. I think I will never be satisfied.

-MorticiaNumskull:
You combine bodies, mutilated limbs, bones, skulls with instruments. It makes me thinking of H.H.Geiger's great works. This man must have been an inspiration for you, isn't?

-Françoise Duvivier:
     Indeed, I know a little of the work of H.H.Geiger, and he is for me a great artist... But I can't pretend that this man only has been an inspiration for me, because 'everything' is an inspiration for me. Other people tell me that my work makes them, thinking to Joel-Peter Witkin. Because, although I didn't know anything of his works.
     It's difficult to describe, but I think that men like H.H.Geiger and Joel-Peter Witkin. Because, men living in this century, are feeling the same things as I do. Together we feel the atmosphere of our era and it's sure that we have common points in our different sensitivities, expressing this world and reflecting the fears and ideas of people.

-MorticiaNumskull:
You also use some numbers or strange words in your collages. Just like the word 'NAAR'. That word means in dutch something like 'awful'. You use those words for the strange sound in their pronounce, or is it that you add them like the words or numbers as medical registration numbers on the body bags, graves etc...?

-Françoise Duvivier:
     Sometimes I like using numbers or words in my collages. It depends on the atmospheres of the collages if it needs something more. I listen to what the finished image needs. It may need a sound, so I find (for example) the word 'Naar': very sinister, expressing something 'awful', but 'terrible' too. It looks like a heavy destiny.
     The numbers express the coldness and they are depending on their architecture they bring to the image. Indeed, I've this feeling to obey to my images and I don't want to work them more than they want, letting them free.

-MorticiaNumskull:
Sometimes there are some trees in your collages. But will you ever use threes with leaves?

-Françoise Duvivier:
     You're right, I sometimes use trees in my collages and these trees are always winter trees, without leaves. They are often broken, like b'roken lives. It's only symbolic because spring and summer bring leaves to trees in life, but not to the human mind. Everywhere in summer, countries like Yugoslavia and others continue, always knowing their violence.

-MorticiaNumskull:
What do you do with most of your collages?

-Françoise Duvivier:
    Some of them are destroyed, others are kept, others are published in magazines or featured on CD covers, etc. But generally, these collages are destroyed or are kept and forgotten in some parts of my flat. I'm more preoccupied in doing other collages.

-MorticiaNumskull:
Which band was the first one who wanted to use some work of you?

-Françoise Duvivier:
    It was not a band, it was rather a label: 'Rrrecords' from the U.S. which firstly used my work. The label 'Freedom in a vacuum' (Canada) used a lot of my work too, for their CDs and invitations to their shows.

-MorticiaNumskull:
Why are you more known in the US than in Europe and is this changing now?

-Françoise Duvivier:
    My collages were become popular in the U.S. quickly, while the majority stayed indifferent in Europe. I can't explain this dynamism in the U.S. well. I guess they need more visual communication. Actually, the situation is changing in Europe, I suppose because of some musicians like Dive in Belgium and Zygote in German who have published my work in their albums. So, now more European people start to like my images more.

-MorticiaNumskull:
You never got censored in the US?

-Françoise Duvivier:
     No, I've never been censored in the U.S. And I don't get well why you ask me such a question. (MorticiaNumskull: Well, everything that's too much in the mainstream will be censored by those moralists, your work might be frightening too much. But luckily you're an underground artist.)

-MorticiaNumskull:
How many bands already used your works and why are they almost underground bands?

-Françoise Duvivier:
     Not so many. They are more from certain labels which are using my work, just like Rrrecords (US), ND (US) and Freedom in a Vacuum (Canada). Some musicians used my work for their CD or LP: Mark Alhanait (France, noisy music), he used my work on his LP. Schimpfluch (Swiss, noisy music, Ip), Dive (Belgium, hard techno) featured some CDs and a book/CD: 'Images' with my collages. I did a visual performance during their show in Germany in 1993. Actually Dive continues using my work during their shows. Zygote (Germany, Ip + a big poster), Brume (France, CD).
     Yes, I mostly work with underground bands, because the majority of people who like my work are mostly musicians and work in the alternative middle. Anyway, people of the mainstream culture don't like my work. I don't want to deal with this cold mainstream culture. I've chosen to work in the underground sphere and I feel more free and I find these contacts more alive and healthy.

-MorticiaNumskull:
Just the right words in the right mag. What's your personal taste of music?

-Françoise Duvivier:
     It depends on my mood, but generally I like music which talks somewhere to our deep subconscious. I'll mention for example the music of Lustmord. But I like convulsive and hard music too, like In Slaughter Natives or Dissecting Table. (They are only examples) I also can dark and hard techno, very loudly played like heavy metal music. I like it when it's strong, not ordinary and brings something new to our ears. Music is a drug, it helps me to create. Everything I do needs music.

-MorticiaNumskull:
Your are also making masks and dolls. It all sounds very voodoo-like to me. Are you such a macabre personality? Don't you never want to create something different?

-Françoise Duvivier:
     The masks I make often frighten people because they see life in them, certainly because I do believe in my creatures. I always make them with love and I feel a little connection to the shamanistic philosophy. I give spirit to everything which is (called) lifeless. I consider my dolls and masks as alive and I don't feel alone surrounded by them.
     I'm not a macabre personality. I think to taste life better because I like travelling through the death spheres. This philosophy brings me a lot and helps me to face up to life and death with serenity and accept people like we are: monsters and no more!

For so long the interview around with Francoise (I still can't find that accent that belongs to the 'c') around this exposition. For serious contacts write to: Francoise Duvivier, BTE 394 7 ET, 18 Allée des orgues de (ll)flandre, 75019 Paris, France.