I OPENED THE ENVELOPE and out fell dark,
murky photos of...what? Are these corpses, changelings, spirits invisible to all but the artist?
If I look at them too long will I be drawn into a world from which there is no exit?
These images speak in the language of the subconscious mind, which does not understand words and logic.
They speak to the primitive howling soul that still lives on in all of us. They cut to the bone.
They're a wisp of Halloween magic, the dark storm fear that stirs within us when we realize that we humans are animals too,
subject to the laws and whims of Mother Nature.
Enter the world of Francoise Duvivier.
I was born in the north of France, in Calais. I moved to Paris in 1984. Initially I was interested in the Parisian art scene but quickly became bored with this mainstream culture and the accompanying bourgeois intelligentsia. I now understand that what is considered "Great Art" is only society's "accepted" or "permitted" art. I have never been honestly amazed or enraptured by any of this mainstream art. All I could see was people who were preoccupied with the dominate intelligentsia ideas and opinions, people who were very involved with celebrity, people who were playing a false role... indeed I have never met a single artist in that mainstream culture who was involved with honest and real research.
I have slowly evolved through loneliness, through wondering what was wrong with me and the people around me, to realize that I was disgusted not with myself but with the mainstream culture. It would take too many words to explain this fully and the details, I'm sure, would be more than you want to hear.
Then I stopped painting in 1985, after coming to the realization that my work was a lie, too. I began to work with collage, and only in black and white. The pieces that you see here are an evolution of this early work, the first ones were closer to the classic idea of collage, chaotic pieces of images. Each collage I do is an experiment. I am trying to recreate the way we see with our subconscious minds, which is difficult to translate into words. The closest I can come to it is to say that I am trying to describe the place from which magic comes.
I also create dolls, actually I am obsessed with these dolls. They are related to the collages, soft sculptures which are also related to the sculptures I create with little bits of scrap papers. The dolls have helped me to get out of the scared, limited space of images/collages. To me, the dolls are a mix of childhood, magic, terror, rituals, animism...they really live.
I think my main theme is often death. I am always looking for something, exactly what it is I don't know, but I know it is a thing that has no name. I seek out that which is considered taboo, and I am fascinated with death and everything magical.
I hope my work brings you to new places in your mind.