From March to May
In March 2020, the world began to close its doors, first in China, then in Italy… Everywhere, uncertainty was growing. In France on March 15, 2020, the day before what would later be called the first confinement began, the front page of the newspaper Libération was headlined: "Coronavirus: Le jour d’avant” (Coronavirus: The day before). This uneasy title is a reference to Nicholas Meyer's film The Day After. A question emerged from this mirroring game: when would be the day after? And, above all, what would that day be like?
This front page would become the entry point for a series of 56 drawings made during the 55 days of that confinement, which I lived through in my studio in Montreuil with my dog Lulu. Every day, I scrutinized the development of the pandemic around the world via the websites of online newspapers, first in languages I could understand, then by looking at the images and headlines that chronicled the situation in other countries affected by the pandemic. At night I selected the front pages, and during the day I printed them with my photocopier on paper before drawing on them. It was a paradoxical moment, at a time when the news media in print experienced a vertiginous drop in circulation, and online news media became of paramount importance. More than ever, the press emerged as a means to connect with the world, with the entire world, unlike social networks where people shared their confinements. With movement prohibited, the online press offered me a way to journey through a world that was stopped, held in suspension by a virus. But everything happened as though that world at a standstill came to me instead, in the studio, to mingle with my daily life, the projects I had in front of me, and the people I wanted to see.
Alone, in the studio, between my dog and this strange guest, I sought to capture something of this moment in our history. My gesture was most archaic, consisting of drawing on a sheet of paper, on an already obsolete support taking us back to the days before: the daily newspaper. I thus made a voyage staying on site, in a still and silent world that had closed its doors to count its dead.