Yannick Haenel

Born in 1967 in Rennes (France), he lives and works in Paris

Lac, 2023

Site-specific production

Courtesy of the artist

In the intimacy of Villa Heleneum, even within the folds of its history, lies a text written by Yannick Haenel on the occasion of the exhibition. The author has already worked around mythological stories related to the lake, with his short film ‘La Reine de Némi’ in 2017. The love story between Diane and Actaeon was performed again with the possibility of Actaeon surviving his encounter with the naked goddess. If, in the legend, it is a stealthy look at the deified female body that makes love impossible, in this latest story, Lac, the author dissolves the membrane between the Villa and the water, the body and its skin, and responds in a way to the Proustian definition of the subconscious. This unknown lake is that of the night that inhabits and envelops the depths of our dreams, the fire of our passions, the naked sleep between the sheets.

Writer Yannick Haenel has published novels and essays on art, including: ‘Le Trésorier-payeur’ (Gallimard, 2022), ‘Déchaîner la Peinture, Adrian Ghenie’ (Actes Sud, 2020), ‘La Solitude Caravage’ (Fayard, 2019), ‘Tiens Ferme ta Couronne’ (Gallimard, 2017, Prix Médicis) or ‘Jan Karski’ (Gallimard, 2009, Prix Interallié). Former resident of the Villa Medici in Rome, he is a columnist for Charlie Hebdo and an associate artist at the National Theatre of Brittany in Rennes.

Extract from Lac:
“Le soir, enfin, on glisse dans un lac. Les pensées s’ouvrent comme des fleurs en papier ; et voici que dans l’eau mon corps s’effiloche comme une algue. En m’effaçant, je deviens ce lac. Ce cratère où la nuit m’accueille était d’abord un volcan : je le sais car vivre, c’est être ardent. C’est moi qui chaque jour, avec mon feu, creuse ce trou. S’il se remplit, c’est à l’instant du soir où j’y tombe. Le lac n’existe que lorsque je perds conscience... ”