Siege of Bayonne by the army of the Marquess of Wellington.
Original acrylic painting on linen canvas
Artwork size : 28.74 x 23.62” / 73 x 60 cm
© Gallery of painter Eric Bourdon
Lille, France, 2022
The acrylic painting on canvas by Eric Bourdon titled “Siege of Bayonne by the army of the Marquess of Wellington” reexamines the strange and peremptory statement of Maurice Merleau-Ponty : “The painter lives in fascination”. If the painter lives in fascination, it is because his gaze is that of who sees as much as of who is seen. What is at stake here is the very question of our presence in the world, a presence threatened and besieged by Marquesses of Wellington of all kinds. An essential question that has its place in the hollow of this fascination which is the irreducible mode of existence of the painter in front of his canvas. The siege of Bayonne calls not so much for a neo-romantic exaltation of pictorial creativity as for an ontology of the natural world in which the layer of aesthesiological meaning that is elaborated thanks to our carnal complicity with the things would be fully explained.
The purpose of the “Siege of Bayonne by the army of the Marquess of Wellington” is therefore to rethink the unity of the concept of presence in the world beyond the multiplicity of its common uses and its trivial occurrences. Aesthetic intentionality manifests itself as true presence only on the occasion of an aesthetic experience, that is, of an intentional aestheticization of the world. It is therefore through the aesthetic intentionalization of the presence in the city of Bayonne that the painter finds himself fascinated and effectively besieged hic et nunc in Bayonne by the army of the Marquess of Wellington. It would be clumsy to call this aesthetic consciousness an imaging consciousness, even if it possesses its main characteristics. It is not, as we can clearly see, a view of Bayonne of representative or photographic quality. The aesthetic consciousness considered however as an absolutely original relationship to being, it is up to this experience to reveal nothing else than a truth, and thus by this painting charged with pure intentionality to transport us to the most authentic Bayonne as we please, without fearing either its marquesses or its marchionesses.