(Untitled 1969)


     Between the trunks hang movie cameras, as if some tourists had left them in the woods to go lunch elsewhere. No trunk, no branch moves. The leaves seem to have been painted by a stickler. Meticulousness, inertia, and the pleasant scent of moss ... The objects’ owners are visiting a town where all shooting is forbidden. You imagine they’ve descended on those-without-cameras ... In the woods a studio air prevails, but the trunks are real trunks. The cameras were abandoned during a chase. While running, they would have thrown them into the trees where they still hang, probably after swinging from the ends of the straps. Righting of the nickel-plated rods—which vanish in the clear gray sky through the branches. The objectives, turned in one direction, are aimed at different heights. Instinctively you place yourself between two cameras so as to avoid any field of view. You decide, however, to cross the objectives’ path. Once you’re beyond it you turn back with relief—a satisfaction still worried. But you only find empty boxes, cardboard packaging daubed with black and cut to form a window. Into this round hole, inside each box, had been stretched a sheet of cellophane.

     “Of Viet-Miam events coincidirst with the anti wood brek law rather than standard wait—putting in already met for whored, and dismantled threcanvas is currently, oned to render impatient the brusque. These lastments the proposed text pant from little blades of bepass yond and will bedepp rived from a cloud of oninttowell in the thetriangular law, placed into had absolutely nothing t

cloud released during the were concerning in sucfrom tension of the canvas bursting very calm     Is it
which reaches the earth s non only these goldspoilt depending on whether one pushes in a little sulky pll’air, iro of the eruption. The frears but also the insti-in their groove. Of tolor was it not appropria? thus most likel some and the others only snder a canvas which however isn’t highly valued, e the mechanism of the inturtailed if they just havefour sides of the frame there! (their fellow citizens of pletely understood. Piven the order of dislocatien bevel or chamfered all it unleash to the g quite pronounced around 350 fter having had knowanbe as little as possible of the blues, rock, and bea the cloud contain deviolences. They won’ beof the canvas. Which does not influences some who appearent ly of the electrons, bn confinement of six not quantity of the coating (but without truly being inted those who disrupt ththree years, those who auromulate within the innerr border…, a lot of “cinema

have not yet had to activel participate in contact withthe canvas: fromwhichhangs with difficult may also be that the semblent being of very frequent deceptions—of the mnot the only one: the public a direcnis consequence of a confinement corresponding to the frame days not too convin
that is to say is neither has authority has finally lik and prepared. Thus still need
                             Because he doesn’t eat just anything.”

     A deep and warm red coats the theater. The stage is a fine gray. In back, through an open door, rushes bright-weather yellow. Alarming assurance bordering on vainglory. They’re on the verge of laughter spurred by the seam that tears. They await the appearance of the monster clad in scales and straw, the giant mechanical ladybugs, the articulated cardboard penis. But the dominant impression is that of impossible laughter and a possible explosion of roaring grotesque. Lovely, neither slow nor fast, it’s a continuum of yellow radiating inside a clear, albeit crude, frame of a type of door where yellow does not enter. It levels out. It’s in the opening ... yellow. It’s there that the laughter’s inextinguishable origin is, its ... endless ... comicality ... of leveled-out laughing. Because they don’t laugh. Because they can’t laugh. And more and more the raging laughter is taking hold of an audience that does not laugh. Especially since they probably came to watch a relatively serious play. Relatively ... they know that. Nothing emerges from backstage. It should be noted the audience is fictitious, the stage bare. Yellow is behind the door. And simply by jotting it down ... (!) A yellow that doesn’t evoke gold or lemon or sulfur, or perhaps yellow, or ... The loveliest yellow that can be conceived in all its cataclysmic hilarity, invincible and without a role.




Michel Vachey (1939–87) was an experimental French artist and author. He was a founder of the Textruction movement, which sought to blur the line between image and text, and his writing likewise probes expectations of genre. His work includes novels, collages, and hybrid story-essays. Archipel plusieurs, a 450-page collection of his poetry, was published by Flammarion last year.

S. C. Delaney has translated, with Agnès Potier, Tony Duvert’s prose collections Odd Jobs and District (Wakefield Press). His work has been featured in, among other places, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Fiction International, and Paris Review: The Daily.

Agnès Potier was born and raised in Paris and now lives in the Pyrenees. She is currently translating, with S. C. Delaney, the short texts of Michel Vachey, some of which may be found in Puerto del Sol, Columbia Journal, and Kenyon Review Online.

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