Coco plays with the past

with Coco Fronsac

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The true paradises are the paradises we have lost. The one charm about the past is that it is the past — Marcel Proust & Oscar Wilde: Which quote do you prefer?

I do agree, neither with one nor with the other.
I admire Marcel Proust for his attention to detail, his analysis of things and his narrator talent.
I love Oscar Wilde for his sharp wit, his nonsense, and his way of playing with words.
If a paradise is lost, so it’s free to recreate another one in his own image. And if it’s lost… it will find its way!
The charm of the past? It builds me, reassures me, gives me the bases.
It allows me to move forward, and live in the present to better understand the future.
It’s like the Carbon paper that decal our images and memories in the present to be impressed in our future.

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We can really love something — or someone — only when it’s gone?

No. Lack and disappearance are part of us. They are our daily lives. We learn to live with and manage this lack and this disappearance.
Lack is a painful sensation, tearing, indomitable, incurable… and totally subjective.
Beings or things we liked, remain engraved in the depths of our soul. Sublimated, perhaps. But there. Ever. We live in the present with the memories of them and a great and infinite tenderness. For me it’s not because someone or something is “gone” that it will take more importance and greatness than when it was “there”. But everyone sees things differently, and fortunately.

Your idea about the magical intuitions of art: where do you think they come from?

The Magical and Wonderful… we have it in us. We have to cultivate it, and take care of it.
Everything, for me, owns its part, revealed or not.
André Breton said: in short, “the wonderful is always beautiful, it doesn’t matter what wonderful is beautiful, there is nothing more beautiful than the wonderful”.
I like trying to see what’s behind the eyes of dolls, to pass, like Alice through the mirror… Daydreaming. Being called by a spirit during a ritual ceremony, going with him and telling the trip we just made. Being in the abandoned and passive state of the medium and running away from any control logic. Being in the dream and reality.
Being, simply.


Something on your method:

My work is a quest, a puzzle whose pieces fit together perfectly.
I’m like an explorer who doesn’t know what he’ll find.
I find myself in a state of grace or rage, if I accept the imaginary or if I refuse the given reality.
I give life, stir desire, chance, dream… it makes smile.
Actors pictures that I work on, are free. They play with the gateways of time. They wink, and curtsey. They have fun and play jokes. They pass with delight their surrealist friends and leave for imaginary journeys in chimerical countries, at the crossroads of eras, of continents.


A good artist is a solitary person, or is always surrounded by people?

I need both. Loneliness, isolation, meditation, to come face to face with yourself.
When I work, I’m like diving into a hypnotic sleep, images come naturally. It’s a breath, the breath of life. A state of neglect, escaping all control logic. A time when the dream and reality intertwine and collide.
Surrounded? Yes, that, too. Feeding on other, sharing a collective imagination. Relaxing, giving and receiving. Just finding yourself around a table with a good meal, a few empty bottles of Chablis, for example! Exchanging, with your friends, your family… Jim, my husband, Jules, my son… both artists too… rare and precious moment to be enjoyed.
Being alive, especially!

Do you think that looking too much to the past, hiding something disturbing?

The past is what is not anymore. That was, but ceased to be. The past no longer exists except in our mind, in our memory, and without memory we couldn’t talk about the past. The future rhymes with hope, the past with regret, bitterness, despair. The present is in there, now. The past is the reality of passing time that leads to certain death. This is irreversible, inevitable. The past unconsciously projects us into our own future. Without the dimension of the past, we are nothing. Even if the past is past, it is present in every moment of our lives. It didn’t die, cause it tells us, gives some thickness and consistency to our present. It feeds us.
I use the past to create a present and make my future. I’m very optimistic and positive. Looking back to the past, for me, is not so disturbing. Even if the pictures characters I use are a priori all “disappeared”, they incorporate my artistic theater with great respect and high esteem. We play together, and I hope you can feel it. Humor is essential, the lightness of souls, too.

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What is the destination of your “bags”? Do you think one day they will replace the old cumbersome coffins?

Death is present in the non-European societies, it is part of life. These bags have a relationship and a link, a wire between the living and the dead. A spiritual and physical exchange. A modern and symbolic transition of an ancestral burial rite.
In the Necropolis of Paracas, in Peru, the Nazca were encapsulated in a fetal position, then packed and covered with fabrics to form a bundle — bag —, “the burden”. According to the importance of the deceased, the fabric was more or less decorated, and the offerings more or less important. In my “In bag”, all bags are similar. All equal before death.
No more trees cut down to make coffins, but trees that would grow thanks to our remains, that would be used to feed them. A park of memories, strewed with trees rather than with gravestones. A shady place to reflect on, to dream, to commune, to be in peace. A gathering of souls, a commemorative site…
Utopian, maybe?

A memory from your past you never want to lose:

The memory of having had the opportunity to be raised in a family of artists which always gave me the urge to discover and to never get bored, to be always amazed, and keep eyes open. And above that allowed me to become what I am.
A thought for my grandfather, my grandmother, and my father, who has just left us…



Coco Exquis


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