We are usually not aware enough of the fact that there are different tonalities of minds. And when we happen to be aware of it, we immediately tend to build hierarchies, a kind of attitude which is just as adequate as the attitude of a worker who would attempt to determine whether a hammer is superior to a pair of pliers or whether a saw is of a more noble essence than a drill. We only rarely perceive these various colors of minds as being individual incarnations of the multiple aspects of the species general talent. And above all, we tend to forget far too often that a given aptitude which is a fit in some particular circumstances may happen to be rather irrelevant or unpleasant or even be a pure nuisance in different contexts.
My own mind has a rather strong text orientation, but it remains universal enough in its ways of thinking and feeling for me to be able to build a representation - from the inside, so to say - of what happens within a mind of a different tonality. So that I finally came to understand that Zazie dreams hard and the power of her visual imagination leaves me disconcerted each time she gives me an occasion to get a hint of it.
Zazie dreams so hard that one might even doubt whether she actually draws her dreams or whether her dreams have reached the point where they are using Zazie's skills to make drawings of themselves. This anyway requires a capacity of visual representation that I regrettably do not have.
But such a power of imagination has some drawbacks. It also means that Zazie often has much more trouble than me to drop her dreams. How unpleasant a dream may be, how can you possibly escape when its accuracy and likelihood is just as strong or even stronger than reality ? Hence some cold sweat from time to time that the dreamer would certainly like to avoid if she could. Whatever you may think of it at first, dreaming is not such a safe activity. You not only need talent and skills for it, but some heart and courage too.
But things go further, and as Breton noted in "Les vases communicants", our dreams often remain active underneath the surface of our consciousness during the entire day, somewhat like a tapestry or watermark on which the whole sequence of the daily events flows. From there comes this almost uncontrollable emergence of Zazie's dreams in the heart of the images she creates during the day and the invasion of her images as building material within her dreams during the night. So that you may just as well say that Zazie draws her dreams or that she dreams her drawings as you like.
So it is from there, from this permanent go and return, from this dialog between dream and virtuality, that the images of this exhibition were born. And it is a kind of chance and wonder that such things came to exist, because "virtual reality" until now has mostly been put at the service of realism. Digital artists tend to judge the quality of their work by its degree of faithfulness to "Reality", in other terms - as Fredéric Nietzsche pleasantly noted - not by the degree of faithfulness of their work to reality itself, but rather to the slightly reduced representations people usually have regarding reality.
Zazie's irreverence as regards "virtual reality" conventions is not limited to making the tools do what they were - so labouriously - not meant to do. No. As has been a common rule in the surrealist movement for about 90 years now, Zazie does not show better respect of technical conventions either, and she misuses her tooling in all the ways she happens to think of, with some happiness and a beautiful innocence.
Yes, I do have to use the word innocence here, because I must admit that I never saw Zazie wandering - even a bit - in the labyrinths of user's manuals, may they happen to be on line manuals or not. And quite obviously this was not by a sort of nonchalance of hers, but rather something like a true chance at first and true wisdom later on, because the specific movement of her dreaming activity - both deep and swift - would by no way be compatible with the heavy and boring style of computer literature.
So that, the computer - as they say - does not have that much to do with the whole stuff after all. Because the computer is just a convention like any other and Zazie, with her specfic and oblique approach happened to invent her machine together with her unique way of using it. To the point that it still happens quite often that her work leaves specialists disconcerted : "Ah ? they say, I was not aware that this could be done with this tool..."
It is not so much that the technique is put to the service of dreams in Zazie's work, but rather that her technique itself is dreamy. Properly said, technique - in Zazie's work more clearly than elsewhere - emerges from dream.