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Interviews with DORO

September 2013

When we view DORO's sculptures, looking past the materials, gold and silver, we are taken in by the shapes, the colours and by aspects we find nowhere else.

Well, that's a long story! After my training in jewellery making and after starting at the School of Fine Arts, I found work in a major jewellery firm in Dijon. One of the staff spent a large part of his time teaching me the trade. That was the most meaningful moment in my professional life. I was fortunate in that, for some ten years, the entire trade was passed on to me.

During that apprenticeship, I had time to assimilate things; I played around with the metals like a child, and that's really what it was. I played with things because I felt there really had to be a way to express things differently from what we are used to.

And now, I'm going to talk about the substance as if it were a person!  I wanted to listen to it, hear it, and listen even more closely to what it had to say to me, and that took many years. I happened onto an initial technique that enabled me, using the metal in fusion, to create a form with no intellectual contamination, meaning without any willed shape or appearance on my part.

In comparison, it's like some painters who splash paint on their canvases. If I were to splash paint on a canvas tomorrow, it would be ridiculous, even though for them, it's not. Why? Because they are listening to something other than their own consciousness, and because they have learned to put that behind them. That aspect was something I learned later.

 

In short, there's a sort of discussion, or dialogue, that is established and that makes the matter collaborate and you collaborate with the matter. How does this come about in concrete terms ?

Having discovered this technique, what I am able to do is come up with a form that is free of rational constructs. That allows me to create elements that I would say are sterilised, clean, freed of the contamination of wanting to obtain a particular structure or shape.

I lend the metal a certain dynamic, in some way I follow it... or maybe it follows me? ... I can't say for certain...  It's not entirely clear... but that allows me to bring something other than my own consciousness into play.

 

In comparison to a trade such as a blacksmith, for example, who shapes the iron, heats it, stresses, twists and beats it, and moulds it to produce forms, that's not at all what you do...it might even be considered the opposite of what you do.

That's exactly right. My search is just the opposite. In jewellery making, one is constantly building concepts.

So, I entirely eliminate any sort of structure and I let the metal morph from its natural, liquid state, in fusion, into its solid state.  The form emerges during the change of phases, with almost no input on my part. It's a sterile form, suitable for use and to represent human beings, almost entirely stripped of any intellectual hypocrisy I might have inserted into it. It is authentic.

 

Is this technique something you discovered and an experience that is yours alone?  

This technique, which I discovered by accident while shredding, liquefying and solidifying the metal, is not a known entity. I have never seen it before, and in principle, it exists nowhere else.

The result, which looks a bit like crumpled aluminium foil, cannot be achieved by casting, whether using wax or in a mould, and thus cannot be copied. I've been working with jewellery for 25 years and I think I would have noticed it somewhere along the line.  In principle, this technique is unheard of.  

 

This technique, which produces a crumpled look, can it only be applied to certain metals?

I am able to produce it with gold and silver. I have tried it in vain on other metals.

 

You have given this technique a name: orophany. It is present everywhere in the metal strips that make up your sculptures. Is every component of your work derived from orophany?

That's rather hard to say, since I create various types of components, very large or very small, and something amazing occurs: once those components are created for a given sculpture, they all fit into place. I'm never short one and I never have one too many.

With every sculpture, I find I am amazed by that realization, as if I had put a puzzle together and every piece was in the right place.

And that's of great importance to me. It confirms, in my view, that fact that this work is authentic and that something other than consciousness is at work in me.

And something very important! I have to use only the elements of orophany. At present, I can't conceive of including other elements. I would not be able to put in precious stones or other substances, for example. That would totally ruin the authenticity.

DORO

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