Faced with a work by Jean-Pierre Bertrand, the spectator may well wonder what kind of physical entity he is looking at, not only intellectually but also materially. The onlooker is often taken in by what at first glance seems self-evident. His tendency towards self-deprecation inspired him to create a fictional meeting of two legends of the 20th century, Jackie Onassis and Muhammad Ali. He represented France at the 1999 Venice Biennale, and has completed numerous public commissions, the most recent being the stained glass windows in the crypt of the Pantheon in Paris. He is represented by the Michel Rein Gallery in Paris.
I remember a friend of my mother’s, a pretty woman who wore something glittery round her forearms. She was very talkative and animated when she spoke, so much so that her expansive hand gestures and arm movements whirled up a flurry of clinks and jingles. I found that moment in my childhood very disconcerting.
Later I learned the name of those objects of which I have just spoken, and later I realised that my discomfiture in front of the pretty woman with the bracelets was the first stirring of erotic excitement.
My last wish would be to relive the same scene: my mother seated on the sofa near the window – her friend being very animated with bracelets whirling around on her arms and me sat on a little chair with what I have just written in my head.