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  • Displacements


    It was during a voyage researching nomadic shepherds and their settlements that the technique of ‘displacement’ had its genesis in the mind of Jérôme Borel.

    Before this, the artist had already practised copper plate engraving, but he found the long and laborious application of the copper plate too cumbersome and the process an obstacle to spontaneity. He wished to find an alternative to be able to speed up the creative process.

    In his studio he was already using paper that had been coated with wax for his pastel drawings. But it was on his return from Djibouti and Eritrea (1989/90), where he sought to reconstruct the traumatic experience of nomadic shepherds, that he invented the process and technique of ‘displacement’.

    Combining beeswax with black ivory, he obtained an encaustic that was used to coat sheets of paper which would then serve as templates. They were then applied on different sheets of white paper and in moving and shifting them about, following only his intuition, he came upon what he would call ‘displacements’.

    The reproductions which follow are an example of the possibilities offered by this special process of engraving. The interconnections between drawings in the positive and the impression in the negative are the traces of the layers of time, of memory, and of their fading.

    It is thus the convergence of these three experiences (the nomadic shepherds/settlements, traditional engraving, and the use of encaustic) that has since led Jérôme Borel to regularly produce these ‘displacements’ – original engravings, sometimes in complement to his paintings but more often as independent works.

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