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Photographer's Note

He was fascinated by the circus, he played the clarinet (and the musical saw), he was born in Belgium with French parents, he was an adept of pantomime, he wore a light blue suit and a bow-tie, he was overweight, he was 83 and ill but, more than all this, he loved words.

Words to push up to their limits, sentences to polish to the point of absurdity, (non)sense to stretch up to the stratosphere... and back.
I guess most people never heard of Raymond Devos outside the borders of France and many French-speaking countries, for his comic style was based on text.
Intellectual but not pedantic.
Incongruous but not silly.
Subtle but not obscure.

Here's just two personnal and modest tranlation attempts:

I did lend an ear to a deaf man, at times. He didn't hear any better.

When we met, my wife and I, we were both so shy we didn't dare to look at each other. Now, we can't see each other!


When I was a kid, I used to see him on TV or listen to some of the recordings of his shows. But I never got to see him on stage, in the flesh, to receive the energy which seemed to emanate from his feverish mind and generously proportioned silhouette.

So, echoing Devos' wizardry with improbable stories, I decided to post an image with a company composed by some other language lovers: les Souffleurs (aka the Whisperers).

The last time I saw them, they had appeared unexpectedly at the rear of the hôtel Biron (musée Rodin) during the second Night of the Museums, last month. Sleek-looking, dressed in black, holding large umbrellas. Among the crowd which had gathered instantly around them, on the threshold of a glaring spot of light, they began one by one to pick a spectator. To bring into the light. To murmur poetic or philosophical texts in his ear, through a long tube.
Whether you're just a bystander or a temporary actor of this silent choreography, time is stretched. Concentration becomes tangible. Sound and sense merge...

But the ballet never stops. Movement. "Instinctive". selection. Whispers. Fascination... Who's next?


What you bring into play in a whisper is you.
Whisper to whom you wish to.
We don't make a show.
A 15 second whister is the minimal measure of time for the emergence of mystery.

(excerpts from the Whisperers' manifesto, for "internal use")

Seeing is believing, some say. What about listening, then?


When you ask people to observe a minute of silence... insted of observing it, as we observe an eclipse of the sun, they listen ot it!
Raymond Devos

Lens distorsion correction, color balance adjustment (wrong white balance settings!) and limited noise reduction with NeatImage

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Additional Photos by Dominique Monrocq (dom_inik_m) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 215 W: 131 N: 469] (1717)
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