ISSN : 2266-6060

Between two waters

Le Havre, October 2020.

During the spring of 2020, as others have kept diaries or fuelled discussion on social media, she decided to write on the walls. With only virtual or derogatory access to public space, she has turned “her walls”, the white tiles of her bathroom, into a medium for writing. It’s both the affordance of her daughter’s chemistry pen, the one she uses to mark levels on beakers, and the pleasure of having a moment to herself to write, she explains. Perhaps she was inventing a type of writing, fragilely exposed for an uncertain future (“post-pandemic”), mired in a troubled, domestic and anxious present (” the lockdown”). The whole family has chosen a side and copied poems, witticisms or famous quotes day after day, so that the bathroom has become a space for collaborative writing and reading.
Moving from screen to tile and from print to handwriting, she copied poems by an author she received, following her participation in an email chain, intriguing verses; one poem per day per tile during those six weeks of eternity. She liked these little pieces of writing, in French or English, that arrived in her inbox. Since Google queries for the poet’s name and lines didn’t produce any results, she thought it would be a good idea to publicise him – and not on the internet, which he had chosen to avoid. So, for the attention of her family now and all those who would return to her home “afterwards”, she displayed this poet who has punctuated this particular spring, bringing into existence for her a joyful and convivial idea of the future, and for the desperate viewer on the eve of a second lockdown, a trace of the scriptural ingenuity deployed to accommodate our diminished ties and to grant ourselves small pleasures.

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