VISIONARY REVUE


POINT OF SUSPENSION - Michel Henricot

      Although Henricot is also a painter of ancient ruinous landscapes (of this, more later), he is best known for his shrouded and mummified figures in a state of suspended animation - hovering somewhere between life and after-life. Many of his admirers have commented about this quality in his work.
      According to Michel Random, "The works of Michel Henricot illustrate, in an extraordinary way, the vision of an altered state, where a being exists in an intermediary world between life and death." (20)
      And, for Alain Bosquet, "the body is situated between wakingness and sleep. Sometimes nude, sometimes wrapped in bandages like the mummies of ancient Egypt, they are plunged into an alternative state of being. Time has no hold on them... they belong at one and the same time to life and to death." (21)
      It is, simultaneously, fascinating and disturbing to read that Henri Frankfort, a scholar of Egyptian antiquity, found this same afterworld belief five thousand years ago. "The Egyptians," he writes, "conceived of a transitional phase after death... In this phase, man was conceived as neither dead nor alive. It was a period of suspense..." (22)
      Perhaps what is even more frightening is the sense of time in Henricot's paintings. As Random says, "contrary to paradise, where vision suspends time, in this world, where life is in a state of hibernation, each second falls, implaccably, and lasts an eternity." (23)




 
 
 


PARIS - FALL 2004


      It is precisely this contradictory quality which characterizes his vision. The figures are neither living, nor dead; neither asleep, nor awake; neither floating, nor weighted down; neither in time, nor beyond it. Instead, we are offered a glimpse into that dimly illuminated half-world where everything exists 'in between'.


BARQUE III - Michel Henricot


 
 
 


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