The process is simple: impromptu passengers in a moving vehicle, we drive down the world’s most beautiful roads as a voice speaks to us. From cities to riverbanks, from autopista to autopista, from scrubland to mountain summits, our eyes drawn to a single vanishing point, the voice narrates its memories, its secrets, its dreams of childhood, its flashes of lucidity; composing a one-of-a-kind poem.
If each of the words chosen by the author pierces the landscape, it’s because Bernard Faucon isn’t just any driver. He has understood that getting old could be “useful” when it allows us to “unlearn lessons.” His inner music knows backroads and unexpected forks: from the last indulgence of dreams to the hypothetical intersection of the road and time, it’s most certainly a memory older than ours that is speaking.
The Cuban Malecón, Laotian trails, the multicolored Luberon, the sands of the Maghreb: we always find ourselves at the intersection of all the vulgarities and all the inspirations. On the radio, pop hits or cheap techno become the soundtrack to our lives. There are no bodies, or almost none, on the horizon. Flesh is radioactive: after the world of mannequins, photography invents the world of silhouettes.
Unsurprisingly, at the apex of this decor shines the sun of youth. We don’t escape this moving place; the twofold challenge of time and space, where the face of the beloved remains doomed to remain only memory, or an unkeepable promise.
The artist knows it: “Everything that endures bores us, but we deplore the ephemeral.” Despite the adage, his roads could still continue for kilometers and hours – precisely because they join duration with the ephemeral; experience with emotion.
To be or not to be is no longer the question. Refusing to choose, Bernard Faucon imagines a mixed answer in the image of those mornings when we awaken with the impression of forgetting a bag containing everything we are on a subway platform. It is now a question of being and not being.
My Routes – II
Images and texts: Bernard Faucon
Editing: Pierre Eugène and Bernard Faucon
Sound editing and design: Christian Cartier
Color correction and special effects: Baptiste Évrard
Production assistant: Bertrand Scalabre
Cinema and Visual arts Coordinator: François Bonenfant
© 2014 Bernard Faucon & Le Fresnoy Studio national des arts contemporains
Mes Routes II from Bernard Faucon on Vimeo.