Open key: A dialogue with Fred Drouin

With: Juan Pablo Torres Muñiz

  

Components. And a whole that goes beyond. The final image takes shape thanks to a process that goes behind the hours, as well as the distance that separates us. Happily, Fred’s voice is strong and clear.
Within each picture, we say, materials and references come in, with the light or, rather, the lights of the one who proposes the vision.
 
 

Art as an illustration… of what?
(And there are more issues in direct relation to the collages: An inside and an outside, and the artist surrendering in a role of hinge, perhaps? Some permanent reason, the axis?)
 

The art of collage is the expression of a parallel life…
No, currently there is no theme in my work. I don´t mean to evoke a particular subject … I can evolve in very classic lines… or a kind of line, say funny, or as a whistleblower, but I will not imprison me! What I like most about the art of collage is the freedom it provides, so I do not want to spoil the joy and ease of action…
However, lately barcodes pieces appear more often in my collages, this symbol represents to me the power… of overconsumption.

 
Freedom and Power.
With the consequent action of a decision, a new condition to attend is drawn up for the next step. In any case, it continues to give rise to inventiveness, with the search for new possibilities, curiously, perhaps, in search of something more permanent.
 
 
In a certain way, the use of pre-existing text materials entails an equivalent experience. The choice immediately leads to a new complex relation, with its own meaning, not only in a tone of the trait that takes shape little by little…
What is it that they can’t express each of the elements by themselves, outside the set, of the game?
 
All readings of collage may be true: it’s the beauty of art in general…
The reading I’m doing of my own collages is personal to me. I see my ideas, my foundation, my humor, my disgust… but the public that confront them with their own references will have, then, another interpretation.
This is what makes interesting this exchange, what enriches it.
An element can answer another element… and will lose its original meaning, so he vanishes and nourishes another idea…
 
An arbitrariness versus another, with the artist in the role of director, disguising, however, as a prudent companion in the experience arranged by himself. After all, a good guide does not put the answers before our noses; a good guide makes us reach them, to reveal them immediately, as new starting points.
 
I let everyone the opportunity and the freedom to choose what the final collage evokes to her or him.
 
And from the evocation, names always appear… Thus, the subject goes to give with these, new or already known (ready in such case, to be recognized). References, invitations.
We often understand syntagmas as coordinates, simple fixed points; in fact they vibrate and, even, move as if they are anticipating the reading: they respond in such a way to the insinuation provoked by other syntagmas and thus configure, with these, affecting the interpretation of the whole, a dynamic reality…
In other words: the action itself and even the relations to which texts and/or images tend to have, never coalesce into a specific term to designate the link between the work and whoever faces it; no definition emerges, let alone the binding outside-inside verb of the work, except as part of a new artifice, mere deception, evident tempting illusion.
Thus, the process itself, key to the connection, to the “reading”, is preserved unnamed. But it invites to opt for a term of the lexicon itself, with which at the end, we reveal ourselves: faculties, aptitudes, competences, limits and potential, at the risk of tempting a term.
Curious human desire. An eloquent, though unintelligible, sign that reveals us…
 

 

Yes, I believe there is a literature of image.
Literature is a form of expression that uses words as a vehicle. Collage uses other means to, for example, tell a story. It works out the image. The only difference is that strictly speaking it leaves the possibility of appropriating a form of conclusion. The history of the book often will… end.
Collage remains open.

Like a window.
 
The power of the image: potent and evocative. The internal, reading-comprehending process, the brain part… immediately goes on!

 

 

In the face of the game that you propose, that of the composition, it is quite natural to wonder from what sources you extract its parts…
 
For now, with images I find in magazines. I have at present an astronomical amount of magazines!
Magazines of photos, history, society, music, fashions, animals, nature… These magazines date from the 1950s to today. Short enough to get lost!
I try to organize myself by theme in order to find the images I’m looking for when I need it. Everyone gives me and I am delighted.
I love the excitement I feel when my eyes meet an image of a great power, I never know what I would do but I know it will be well…
 

 

Today there are means that lend themselves to facilitating visualization. Plot a course faster… And, well, they also affect the technique…
What do you say about digital resources… or what do they tell you?
 
Currently I am not using digital resources. But for some projects I might have to use them, in order to find the perfect image, or to improve it on Photoshop…
But I do not feel the need now.
I have enough material to work differently. And I like to let chance make me take other decisions because of a hazardous meeting of an image, which would not happen if I used my own digital resources!
 
Straitjackets…
 
 
On the other hand, with your work, you seek to achieve dialogue:
First step, question. But who do you question at first? Perhaps you yourself, are more exposed…
 
I often ask myself the question of… what I do not mean.
I also always ask myself the question of whether I reached the minimum level of aesthetics (for me). I am very careful on this point! Although a collage has no particular message I want to make it… attractive.
At this point, I also ask myself whether I have gone too far or not.
In cases like these, I try to pull the brakes…
On the other hand, I do not expect specific questions of my public. As I said, I respect the right of everyone to his own reading. The exchange goes up naturally… Share their questions would require, I think, to have specific answers… which I do not have.
 

 

But there are recurrent reasons… Fertile sources. The same dream genre…
And it’s quite obvious: Women are there…
 
They’re an infinite source of inspiration! They represent mystery, life, beauty, delicacy, attraction… and so much more… They have always been a big part of my creation, in my music or my visual arts. I am fortunate to be father to a little girl, I enjoy seeing her growing, and I can already see the impact of her presence beside me, on my work.
My work –I hope– reaches beyond my own representation of women. Sometimes my collages may seem, for this reason, demeaning; because, you know, of too much nudity or sexuality, but it’s all about some great and general… I develop a much more sensual and delicate manner… I want to introduce a whole.
 
 

But, at the same time, just a hint… a hint from the limit itself.

 

The image as a starting point more than a purpose. The possibility of openness, imagination, where the elements overlap, enrich the story or distract… The image as a Magic Card!

In an effect…


Exponential…
 
 
(French translation by Roberto Zeballos. English translation by Isabella Farrell and Roberto Zeballos.)



 
 

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