Vimala Pons, a destiny in good voice

There is always something moving about entering into a solipsistic realization. Vimala Pons, a bright and facetious figure of the contemporary circus who is starting to make herself known, but each time on a slightly different ground, has a sense of the collective: she knows how to be part of a troupe, to put herself at the service of a choral choreography, getting into the dance that others have designed for her. Last year, with Victory Thing, she showed that with others, like Tsirihaka Harrivel or Olivier Demeaux (Hair), she also knew how to make music (voice, synth, clarinet, tap dance). But Memoirs of the Slit Man (Mikki Rappuleinen, his life, his work), “audio book” cassette that she released in mid-November on the Lyon label Transcachette Tapes, is still different. First of all because this time, she did everything alone: ​​script, music, production, as the absence of a biography soberly says. on the Bandcamp page dedicated to the object on the cover of which she poses, cut in half and wearing a chapka, leaving open the eccentric hypothesis that she is perhaps also the incident subject of this biography of a painter born on January 31, 1957 in Hungary.

Playful fervor

Compared to Victory Thing, whose sound poetry was largely carried by music, Memories … is a more narrative and paradoxically more “dialogued” object if we can speak of dialogues about these voices, incarnations, accents, disparate tones, which call out from side A to side B, as if they were years apart, patched together by the situation of a man who does not speak but paints and does not find the opaque mystery of his existence until one day in September 1997, in the false ceiling of the toilets of the auction room where all of his work is being auctioned off. “Approximate” biography, Memories of the Slit Man is not based on facts or their plausibility. Do not look for the trace of JC de Venty on the Internet, he himself was torn from a spatio-temporal slit only by the artist Julia Lanoë who unearthed any canvas she copied fourteen times, this which Vimala Pons makes a pretext for her own biographical enterprise, much more than approximate, downright extrapolated, more heir to the Evguénie Sokolov of Gainsbourg (in considerably less scatophile, however) than of the life of Manet by Emile Zola.

Arbitrary in its twists and turns and full of flat prophecies, the police investigation forms a set of signs patched up with playful and childish fervor. There a slapped bass motif (with the synthesizer) relaunches the adventure, we think of the soundtrack of the Commissioner Moulin by François de Roubaix; elsewhere, on the rise to beach B11, we think of De Roubaix du Samurai. Synthetic colors dominate, the voices have different accents and languages. “Write down everything you see, don’t think it’s unnecessary. There will be no effect, but it will make its way by forgetting itself » this “The veiled woman with the meat sandwich”. The details are insignificant but of the greatest importance. In the auction room, Mikki inadvertently dropped a copper coin adorned with a small Mexican Madonna who is “All that remains to him of tenderness”. Mikki’s life is actually full of humiliation, starting with the way his parents treat him, who abandon him, citing the unbeatable reason that “it’s more convenient”, despite “Its teeth as white as the Deauville casino”. When on that day in 1997, Mr. Emmerick, the auctioneer, described, in a stilted, vainly erudite tone, his “Masterpiece”, marked by an influence “Crypto-gay just as much as the reflections of Elie Faure”, Mikki is perched on the toilet bowl, brush in hand, trying to reach for a “Black form” in the false ceiling. Her meeting with the narrator, who turns out to be an unsuspected actress from the story from the start, immigrant Pythia in search of a place to dispose of a Mars bar wrapper, ultimately seals her fate.


Between side A and side B, the beginning and the end, the origin and the catastrophe, a playful and ambitious miniature is being built; anecdotal and operatic, solipsist and yet choral. Because the voices, the speeches and their musical emanations fuse on all rhythms, timbres, tones. Vimala Pons indulges in the joys of onomastics – already generous to the point of doubling the name of the main character with a customary nickname, Mikki Rappuleinen: let us quote the judicial officer Lucie Daniel, the wife, Gloria Newprice, a certain Fanny le Forestier, Ken Xekron, the press attaché, who is only appointed to get a fist in the face, or the equally fleeting Yvain Cocktail Faltussi. But the ventriloquist demiurge does more: she gives voice to a whole small social world, not without parodying the speeches: “Belly-stretching technique, as we know, mayhem in the light of a navy blue svoboda, very interesting, this Hungarian shade I believe and neon pastel, sold attached, as is, impossible to distinguish the real from the false, this is the initial title ”, grumbles the commissioner, whose intonations are hilarious. But all this is not only comical, funny, it is a fruitful experiment, since over the tracks, a psychic complexity, subliminal choir at the same time familiar and murky, takes shape, like certain traumatic memories which we prefer not to not think but who continue their murmur in the background. While the echoes of voices mingle, between clarinet notes, suddenly, we think about it: what is a life, after all? An artwork ? You can always let yourself be rocked, muted, smile at a last little sonic gag, or peek into the slit. “Do not worry” said the voice (with a perfect Spanish accent), “It will make its way by forgetting itself”.

Agnes Gayraud

Vimala Pons Memories of the Slit Man (Transcachette Tapes).


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