November 2007: Eric Bouttier

PHPA in English

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The lift doors open at the third floor. On one side, the eyes of William Klein’s voluptuous smoking woman stare into mine, an reckless photo in this no-smoking area. On the other side, a crying Marilyn turns her back, as if turned back by her own myth. Before all these empty, sinuous corridors, iconic images, closed doors that could open at any moment (and behind them, any number of possible stories), is room 301, and what I have been looking for.

The door closes behind me, a calm sets in, and with it the evidence of an image already present. In this place of passing, intimacy has found its place.

A classic, “Sleeping”, and the soft loving regard turned towards this body and its simple grace: the naked silhouette, eyelids closed, skin soft and milky, huge bed and shared pillows, sheets white and crumpled by sleep, posture and absence offered, the cocoon reinforced by tight framing, looking back at itself.

The woman is thus imprisoned in this latent state of sleep – both profoundly of the earth, with its weight and torpor, and of the air, floating above the sheets, a thousand miles away already….

And yet, there’s a fault there, somewhere in the image. Is it in this hand placed near the face, suspended between invitation and timidity? Something in the details of the bed head, which looms over the sleeping beauty? Or perhaps the daylight – a light that is harsh already, inappropriate, almost violent – that smashes the peaceful feeling of deepest night?

What did you dream of? What were those dreams that will join and complete the memories of all those who have preceded us here, hanging on with them to the golden branches of the wallpaper, which roll and turn endlessly upon themselves, carefully keeping prisoner the regard of whoever contemplates them – and what were mine?

Eiffel Park Hotel
November 2007