It’s the story of an encounter.
Between Julie and modern Art.
Between Julie and me.
“I always loved to be around people who had their own special world, different than mine. Maybe because, after I was born, for a few hours, my parents and the doctors were asking themselves if I didn’t have Down syndrome. With my little eyes and my palmed toes. This was the experience of the look of someone else on me, judging, wondering, for a few hours, for a few days, maybe this left a mark on me…. Difference doesn’t scare me
I was never weird about the bizarre, because I grew up with it. I was born in a « Huntington » family. a neurodegenerative disease that strikes hard, and sooner than you think. In medieval times we called it “Danse of St-Guy”. We would burn the ill on the public place. Thinking that they were possessed by the Devil. Today I know the starry looks, uncomfortable, sad, curious of people who walk by my mother and I.
Indeed she doesn’t correspond to the “norm”. She doesn’t look like “us”. Like so many different people here on earth, among us, the normal, the « normo-homo sapiens sapiens », she is a little different. She either stare or doesn’t look at you at all. She has a clumsy walk, she speaks a little bit odd sometimes, the way she stands is sometime awkward for a lot of people. Me , I’m used to it. And all the questions about what it is to be “different” intrigue’s me. I already made a film about it , La Pieuvre, with my entire family in it.
I just finished a Film about the deaf community, « J’avancerai vers toi avec les yeux d’un Sourd ». This film tries to give deaf people the opportunity to speak and to show to everyone that they are normal, common normal.
When Jean Marie Gigon offered me to participate to the “La visite” collection, I immediately accepted. The idea to see and hear the voice of someone with down syndrome enchanted me.
And then i met Julie. A huge smile for a little woman.
Pur joy , she claps her hands every time she’s excited or when she’s happy. She very precious like and always wear lots of jewelry.
The look we give to her is important for her, she’s adorable, very soft and loves hugs. She made me visit, holding my hand ,the foyer Perce-Neige where she spends her days. She let herself go in my arms as we were waiting for the bus who drove her back to her house. A sort of absolute trust. She always ask a lot of questions ” What are we doing Laetitia ?”, “Where are we going Laetitia ?” and she calls me out a lot too ” What do you want Laetitia ?” She gives very little answers to me some happy “yes’s” and shy “no’s” and then comes the real answers, honest and beautiful.
I didn’t picture myself to appear in the movie, but she attracted me irresistibly since she really needs a physical contact, to touch, to hug. Inextinguishable.
The art for art doesn’t interest her that much. But her relationship with me, more. The discoveries , the explorations she can do with me, hand in hand. The shooting asked for some comedy , so we did it together side by side, dialogues, silences, and just her and her body in the museum.
I loved her silences , her body in this empty space , guided by the the different art pieces, I love her way to look, her happiness in front of the Grand Verre de Duchamp. Her way to belong to the world. That song that she knows by heart, sung in front of a Niki de Saint Phalle. Her danse so moving and her love for her mother in front of the Matisse, the way she was flabbergasted in front of the Fée électricité de Raoul Dufy.
When she fell asleep without warning, witch was always followed by a huge energy and lots of feelings. Her scream of joy she could not control, her insatiable need to be cuddled. And the intensity of her relationship with me and the team.
Like a lesson. On how to love without limit or condition. ”