2 slow burning wicks on RAJA cardboard
30 x 25 x 10 cm (folded), 84 x 58 cm (unfolded)
Christian Jaccard likes to call himself a “pyronaut”, which is a neologism of his own invention combining the Greek words -puros, fire, and -nautês, navigator. His favourite “tool” constituting his artistic practice is fire. The artist sets fire to the material, in a paradoxical gesture of mixed creation and destruction, producing a trace, an imprint, through combustion. To make this work, the artist allows the flames to bite into the cardboard using a slow-burning wick, leaving a sooty pattern on the material by using the fire as a brush. The signs of ignition evoke strangely visceral scars on the familiar RAJAPOST box. The title of the work and the mark left by the fire may suggest a religious cross – but Christian Jaccard refutes the idea of sacred art, considering himself only responsible for lighting the spark and then giving free rein to the burning energy he summons. If there is any rituality in his work, it is part of his creative protocol and his persistence since the 1970s. The work exhibited here also refers to another primordial action in Christian Jaccard’s work: the use of knots, in particular cords that are knotted and then inked, leaving their imprints on free canvases.