LES MONTRES

1960
EDITION SIZE: Unique
TECHNIQUE: Accumulation
DIMENSIONS IN INCHES.: 13 x 12,8 x 3,9
MEDIUM: Wrist watch winding stems in a plastic box.

« – I was drawing watches ».

Armand is going towards his 25 years of age when they get married while Eliane is pregnant with their second child. They will have a very strict lunch between the young wife and her parents in law.  They'll never succeed in developing a closer relationship. Pachatte wants to keep her privileged bound to her son.

When Armand lives with Eliane in their first apartment at "Parc de la Californie", while working at the furniture shop of his father to earn a living, he does harpoon fishing at night in the Mediterranean sea to feed his family.  He is still having his lunch (already vegetarian) at his mother's place and she still takes care of his laundry.
In the living-room that is also their bedroom and his work place for painting, he draws on the walls. Eliane then whitens the walls with "casi arti" (a special cover for preparing paint fabrics). At these moments, he talks about his first five years of his life which are secluded in secracy in the family legend. He paints the regret he still feels of these moments when he used to tell the clients and people in the hotel his stories about the drawings he was making.
" - I was drawing a lot of watches...".
Could this be the source?  The origin of the bound to the object that Arman has perpetrated all along his life?

ARMAN, WITH THE OBJECT, HE IS ALWAYS TELLING US A STORY.

History will show that a cycle of temporality and a model of relationship to the feminine was then initialized.

He is five when his mother and his father get married:

" - I have lost the paradise ".

The close bound mother-son undergoes a transformation at the same time as the bound with Micheline is being made (a bound that will last his life time).  A bound in which the age difference  (large at this age: Arman is 5 when Micheline is not yet 2 !) also makes a large difference in maturity (both physically and psychologically). Here, he is the one becoming an adult in a relation where he is doing the pedagogical transmission.
In his relation to his mother until then, an exclusive and close one, it was him who was learning from the other to grow up; in his fusion-like friendship (which is the model he has to make a bound) with Micheline, the roles are inverted.
Something remains in common: the fusion-like close relationship where places can be interchanged with respect to who is teaching and who is learning.
When five years later Micheline leaves to Paris, this distance reproduces a separation in the chance of a similar temporality.
These two times five years ending up in a form of separation are representing a ten years period which will make a temporal model for Arman's great love stories.

This temporality of a 10 years cycle has formatted a temporality of affection that will be retrieved all along his life.
Exactly like the exchangeability in the roles of master or pupil in the bound is also an illustration of his affective relation that will never be confounded.
This has also the effect to make a rebound of this relational dialog in his creative development: he grew up learning a great capacity to listen and be listened to, in a deep experience of the empathy (a talent that will be always present with him: he "knows" the other one and also knows how to show it !).

 

If the greatness of the Work has something to do with the ability to get in touch with the other one and to master the path to find the other one so as to be understood, Arman has cultivated from the beginning this potential to see and be seen, to understand and be understood. His work and the place Arman took in the history of contemporary art shows that he knew how to do with his public:  the viewer knows to "make the picture" that Arman makes by showing it.