Painting, as is well known, is a powerful narcotic, it anesthetizes the gaze, fixes the perception around the hypnosis of the image, so much so that sometimes the boundary between the real and its reproduction comes to dissolve . Here we are at the interstices of this dissolution, on this fault line where the painting will never again be able to reach the shores of the mimesis. Indeed, Jean-François Huleux seems to offer us an impossible equation, to show a part of the precarious arising of phenomena while maintaining the threat of abstraction. The painting imposes itself from the start as a test, a test of the senses and a test of reason. We are included in a vast movement, a vast vibration with irregular features and random distribution. The feeling of all embracing the gaze and not being able to fix, as if the image did not hold, by the yardstick of the borders of these blues uncertain and fragile in their composition.
What, moreover, do these lines signify a certain horizon? Are we on the space of an ocean? On the opacified surface and the cloudy reflections of a pond? The signifier and the signified here seem to have little place, not the object of representation. The uncertain horizontality does not allow us to trace a definite space, a definite top and bottom. The painter has taken up residence in the regime of precarious images, painfully conquered in the meeting of photography and painting. Photography or reproduction to be more precise, because something seems to want to register, to remain in the almost electric shock of the lines. Besides, the effort of the painter, in all his materiality, is barely masked. It is a matter of making the inner surface of the picture live, of leaving nothing to nothingness. And then suddenly the vast dark whole, the balance of the horizontal lines yields before the threat of engulfment.
While the reality was revealed a moment ago, it is now darkened as if the painter no longer believed in the truth of his own colors, as if the open forehead was only a fragile screen, letters that fade on the sand. And yet these marks, these tasks are there, persistent and stubborn. The promise of painting does not offer any clearing and despite this an event takes place. Artistic gesture is not in vain. As if the picture was there, set before the last sounds of the world, to track them down, to bear witness to a sufficiently attentive ear. True, the real can only exist as a fragment, but it lets pass sounds and colors in their very impurity. It is difficult not to think of the ambiguous realism of Gerhard Richter’s paintings, as if painting were to supply the shortcomings of reality. The photograph at Richter is always split, because it is not self-sufficient; we must try to reconstitute the fabrication of the material object. The perceived world is never one, never grasped in its univocity, it always wants to say something else.
Even if the pictorial gesture can no longer reproduce the real and if the latter has definitely tilted into the regime of images, it is not foolish to look for a trace of it. And this is the original meaning of the « tracking »: to find the trail of phenomena in the chaotic bush of signs.