Discovering Georges Rousse found me contemplating our perspective on the myriad of emotions and events overlaying into what we call life. Finding the perfect vantage point from which to view the outline of our lives is to know Jung’s ‘magical effect’ – a gift of the universal flow of energy.
Profoundly spiritual in the emotions they evoke, Georges Rousse’s work is visual art far beyond mere beauty. A combination of architecture, painting and photography translated onto a canvas of empty space. Georges builds on, cuts out, draws into, paints over and finally photographs geometric shapes creating a symphony of visual epiphanies.
His daughter and electronic musician Julie Rousse, whom I had the great pleasure of meeting here in Victoria Falls, says her father prefers to describe himself as an artisan, given the nature of his work. She explains that as a post-war baby, born in 1947 at the end of the Second World War, Georges would play in abandoned buildings, bombed beyond repair. A childhood playground that would forge an entire career in the realm of art and imagination.
Georges spends days sometimes weeks creating his masterpieces in the empty spaces he refers to as his ‘nomadic workshops’. The space lending itself to his art. Buildings destined for demolition, few of Georges’s works exist beyond the present moment. Captured on camera from that precise angle of sublime symmetry, they convey the fleeting concept of time. Our past etched in the memories of the rooms we no longer inhabit, the vibrancy of the present splashed in a melodious drama of colour and texture, the future ignited into time and space. Illusion. The ethereal impermanence of life.
“The idea,” offers Julie with typical French eloquence “is to keep the feeling of poetry alive, even when everything is still.” Art requiring a team of men to construct, maintains its feeling of momentum despite finding permanence on paper. These spaces of Georges Rousse draw you in, nourishing that abandoned part of your soul that yearns for inexplicable mystery. Not to be understood. To transcend. Elusive and beyond our reach so that we keep on tracing our dreams into the vapour of life.