This documentary tells the story of a man born in 1948 in a town located in the North of France: Anzin. A city of the end of the mines and the dying steel industry. As from he was a teenager, on the dark kitchen table of his mineworkers' house, he created a luminous and colourful work, despite his handicaps and his rough and modest environment.
His mosaics, his tapestries made of patchworks and embroideries show a joyful universe which Trovic feels is dying out. Was his handicap, his epilepsy, the founding circumstance of his work, but also what painfully broke his aspiration to join the ordinary human community? This tension, together with his unwavering attachment to the history and culture of his native North, will be at the heart of the issue developped through this documentary.
I had decided to document some artists from the northern region of France, and Jacques Trovic had been indicated to me as a must.
The project was then to make a radio broadcast and a video-slide show. I recorded his words and answers during 3 visits I made to Bruno Gérard's art studio at the Pommeraie (B) occupational home. We were to meet again in November. But Jacques died suddenly at the age of 70 on 27 October 2018.
I had been struck by his attachment to continue talking about his work. I was also moved by his undeniable awareness of the value of his work and the very stifled way in which he tried to express it, his addiction being very great.
His death and the fervour of all those who knew him made it urgent and possible to produce a documentary essay to translate in a sensitive way what I was discovering: the tension of an existence oscillating between marginality and impetus towards the human community, between the confined space of a coroner's kitchen where he produced most of his work, and the luminous space of the world, as it appeared to the artist.
It is therefore from the testimonies of those who saw him live that I understood that this artist had transcended all the "impediments" of his condition by the meticulous construction, hour after hour, of a major work. It became necessary to free him from a reductive image of a naïve artist devoted to folklore and to the reassuring and stale image of an infantilized North.
It is clear that this project must contribute to the reappropriation of a work by a territory which, although it has regularly organised exhibitions of Jacques Trovic's work and paid tribute to him throughout his life, has not yet given official recognition to his work (a dedicated place, the creation of a catalogue raisonné, research and studies on his work, preservation of his archives).
The documentary could contribute to these objectives.
State of play
In October 2020, 7 days of shooting have already been completed, and 6 days are scheduled for November and December 2021. To support the communication around the project, the decision to create a website dedicated to the documentary is taken, it is published in November 2021.
Since the first reflections and the beginning of the research, the first meetings and interviews carried out towards the end of 2018, what a beautiful journey in the company of the artist Trovic, he is always pulsating with life and his work abounds with colours! We are already at the time of the editing and post-production planned for 2022. With the film team, your support and that of the project partners, the time to share this beautiful story is coming on the screens in 2023...