What if the real urgency was to realize you were truly seeing? I came across Pierre Rahier’s literary work. The intensity of the scenes captures me. I feel engulfed by the possibility of imagining the plot of a novel. As in the series Le silence de la Valleé, I found myself lying on the floor of an old wooden attic on creaking beams and a family album in a trunk. I dive indiscreetly between pages of memories, pieces of other people’s stories, which nevertheless feel mine. And my memories now mix with others, like stardust combining into one single extremely reminiscent matter.
Le silence de la Valleé is a family journey that stems from a sentimental wandering in a Belgian Wallonia valley. A search for poetry in everyday life fueled by the crossing of the eye and by the presence of one’s children. And from fragments of a dispersed naturalness. The flight of birds, the movements of a horse, scents of grass, wood. A gust of wind on the tree canopy. Pierre Rahier’s narration borders on the oneiric, the contours of reality fade, the thread of history is lost to embrace an atmosphere. What is the meaning of being in the world? Every little gesture that the camera snatches from the rush of time become immortal from things’ transience. I wonder if immortality has anything to do with withholding beauty. To alienate it from the fury of the past that reduces everything to memory.
Le silence de la Valleé projects us on a family’s furrow, and an intimate gaze thawed out of the flow of events.
Text by Steve Bisson
All images ©Pierre Rahier