Exhibition Galerie Anne Blanc, Paris 1992

Given some titles of Harald Wolff s latest works on paper: “A detained by B”, “Tall C doesn’nt come”, “Speech under the word”, “Meditation in the bedroom”, “Brook takes away his whole convent”, ”Circular saw for the south”, “Heaven mistaken”, “In the sportsclubs”, “New finds with wast of time”.All seem to call up the comforting banality of the quotidien, the order and simplicity of the actual. You are going to admire in absentia what you see outright around you, what makes the fabric of life, what you know exists everywhere on the surface of this earth that has become so small from being so easily explorable, soon displaying no mystery or surprise. And yet! something beckons to you, disturbs you, hails you. What the mind abstracted with simplicity right away from its aims becomes surreptitiously dubious. The first glance crumbles, the gaze madly collapses. The counterpoint from the image to the words erects a contradiction which, little by little, staggeringly discloses the smell of ink of a resisting, vanishing world.These characters on the stage — or rather these legs, these trunks, these heads — in these open/closed spaces, these ordinary situations — or rather these constructs of signs, indexes, things — lead to the disturbing idea that man becomes an intruder, so eager he is to break through representation, dwell in presence, share its form and matter, its principle and sense. In front of me, I seem to see the world where I should rest in peace, meditate, give way to my amazement; indeed words call upon me, ideas summon me, but to no avail: I do not recognize myself any longer in the pictorial, graphic mirror where in vain I am chasing Beauty. I am falling from blanks, to pieces.Grinning irony: the dream leaves a great deal to be desired. Such is the lesson of Harald Wolff: no formal perfection, no lyrical soaring (hardly some rare colors), no harmonious line but the asceticism of an arrested impulse, confined in its multiple fragments, the function of which is to unite the irreconcilable: word and motion, white and black, man and god.“And because for us there is no veil over the face”, Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “we all reflect as in a mirror the splendour of the Lord”. In the resplendence of Truth — the circumcision of Being. For where does illusion steal into if not into the ring of emptiness, the circular gap, the groundless want, at the intimate frontier, perhaps intimated by the godhead, which runs through us and separates us from ourselves.

Michel Mathieu
Translation: Gerard Pecorari