Michel Butor: Les Conspirateurs

In his letter the French author Michel Butor describes the work of art of Batuz in such a way that we turn into witnesses of what he experiences. At that time (1984) the work couldn’t be documented because of the rays of the 72 projectors of different color and strength, which hindered the photographing. This is why the letter of Butor is so important now – it creates a vivid picture in our minds as if we were there and allows us to become a part of that unique experience.

 

My dear Batuz,

How I must thank you that you have made it possible for me to take part in the event! First of all, the entrance by night like conspirators in the corridors of the now disused factory, then the hall with its tiered seating, this theater laboratory in which you have recreated the atmosphere of Berlin, where I spent 1964, with the expanse of water – a miniature lake – above which the gigantic outline of your living wall is raised. It became dark and the spotlights started their blending and kneading of the colors. With every moment, the plants fixed to their scaffolding suggested new living matter, blossoming, sometimes bearing fruit, but often losing any resemblance to what we had seen when we sat down, loosening the moorings that had tied them to normal horticulture: moss that originated on other planets, melting rocks, ice floes, glowing masses, the pelts of animals now extinct, the foundries of the future, political alchemy. An incredible catalogue of textures unfolded like leaves before us in this cavern, from whence something streamed that lay, in a way, beyond our cities and its barracks. We discovered a treasure trove of magical potions in which to dissolve weapons and lies, of talisman, with which to travel the oceans of history, to break through our horizons made of massacres and crises. The cameras clicked away; I hope they succeeded in recording a few verses of this prophesy on their films. The anti-wall with which to gnaw away at all the others, to transmute them in transmigrations, transfigurations and transparencies. We are told of the hanging gardens of Semiramis in Babylon that they had an advantage over even the most boldest of our parks. For they developed not only on the ground, however hilly or mountainous the terrain that had been chosen, or had been shaped for this, but also in space (and I think of certain alleys in Italy or Latin America, where vines or creepers pour or spring forth from every window). Indeed, today we can open up another nature, one that Integrates all industry; we can imagine that we have reshaped our planet vessel to allow all its different domains to breath, that we reconcile them in this adventure, the beginning of which we await after so many setbacks. Naturally, I will be following the different stages of this decisive picture and will certainly greet its first sparks.

With my best regards
Your Michel Butor