The meeting took place one summer day, in Tangier. And then years went by. But there is this blue that looks like a silence. Inhabited. Full. Tahar Ben Jelloun bumps into the images of Thomas Dhellemmes, in his blue, melancholy and uncertain days. He begins to write, without project, poems. Just writing, under skies, seas, a cross. He knows nothing of the places, the dates, the countries traversed by Thomas who pulls from the past an extreme sweetness.
What we perceive: footprints, cities in the distance, calm waters, a family, a sleeping child, a naked woman, nature and veiled windows. It’s a matter of time and memory. 1984-2007. Thomas Dhellemmes travels and saves from the void an impression of the world. Floating. Fragile. Sentimental. His Polaroids are healings. They soothe, relieve. Violence, death. What we feel: peace, at least a lull.
Tahar Ben Jelloun adds to these dreams his sublime song. First, with the words that cause images like waves, elsewhere, in the depths or peaks. A silhouette in a hard rain and ghosts roll in makeshift sheets and roam the night to make them believe they exist. He writes: Summer mornings have sleepy eyes. The music of Tahar Ben Jelloun tells open, dreamlike stories, stories of wind, love and ancestors, tales in a few lines, or his thoughts. The night is very present in his sentences. The night against the light.
So Tahar chooses the painting to illuminate Thomas’s photographs. He says: painting is light, what interests me is the meeting of colors. His drawings are explosions, fires. Almost abstractions. They awake the silence of the blue, and blow over him a joyous agitation, the candor of a sun.
Blue Day is a great poetic journey that sways from one glance to the other towards beauty. There is a picture of Turner escaped from an interior museum, and so many dreams still.
Tahar Ben Jelloun is a French-Moroccan writer, poet and painter, laureate of the Goncourt prize for his novel La Nuit sacrée.
Thomas Dhellemmes and Tahar Ben Jelloun – Blue Day
June 12 – July 12, 2019
School Gallery / Olivier Castaing
322 rue Saint Martin