—Gaston Bachelard Water and Dreams-An Essay on the Imagination of Matter, 1942. Translated by Edith R. Farrell


Thus, water becomes a kind of universal home; it peoples the sky with its fish. A symbiosis of images gives the bird to the deep and the fish to the firmament. The inversion which played on the ambiguous inert concept of the star-isle here plays on an ambiguous living concept, the bird-fish. Anyone who makes an effort to establish this ambiguous concept in his imagination will feel the delightful ambivalence that a thin image suddenly assumes. He will enjoy this reversibility of great water spectacles in a specific event. Reflecting on these musings that produce unexpected images allows one to understand that the imagination needs a constant dialectic. For a thoroughly dualized imagination, concepts are not centers of images which come together because of their resemblance to each other; concepts are the points where images intersect at incisive and decisive right angles. Besides its intersection, this particular concept has one other characteristic: the fish flies and swim.     P.51


From this moment on, the poetry of form and colors gives way to the poetry of matter. A dream of substance begins. An objective intimacy digs down into the element in order to receive materially the secrets of the dreamer. Then night becomes a substance as water is a substance. The nocturnal substance mingles intimately with the liquid substance. The aerial world gives it shadows to the brook.     p.53


Everything in the Universe is an echo. If the birds, in the opinion of certain dreaming linguists, are the first creators of sound who inspired men, they themselves imitated nature's voices. Quinet, who listened for so long to the voice of Bourgogne and Bresse, discovers "the lapping on the shores in the nasal cry of aquatic birds, the frog's croaking in the brook ouzel, the whistling of the reed in the bullfind, the cry of the tempest in the frigate bird." Where did the night birds borrow the trembling, thrilling sounds which seem the repercussion of a subterranean echo in old ruins? "Thus all the sounds of natural scenes—still life or animated—have their echo and their counterpart in living nature."     p.194

Untitled (lake)

Series of 8 inkjet prints