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I’m just back from the exhibition in B.N.F. (National Library in Paris), revealing for the first time in five centuries randy literature and icons called « hidden eros ».
These works were stocked in a special part of the library since 1702 (section Y2) and labelled « Hell » in 1844.
Hell in the library !
Here is a quote from Bruno Racine’s brilliant forward for the exhibition catalogue :
« Hell, not a code or, to refer to the reference book, a symbol for the purpose of identification or classification of books, has ever revived such an unequaled and unexpected curiosity.
Contrary to moral standards, it was time to enlighten the public, to show and inform them, responding to their desire to acknowledge the existence of what was considered until now as obscene, scandalous and immoral, and was discreetly locked away from all view. »

At the awn of the 21st century, this national institution not only reveals these works, but also how they treated them.
The general public immediately understood the importance of such a revelation, and more than 10 000 people queued up for the privilege of admiring the works !
For several centuries, the political and religious authorities had decided to obstruct people from the possibility of viewing and reading what is, after all, the basis of their existence : sex.
Dicks stuck into cunts and spraying sperm since the beginning of times, from which this inevitable act man is born, exists and dies.
When one looses the charm of infancy, one’s only consolation is the discovery of sexual pleasures, although they are more often short and illusory.
I soon found a way to continue these pleasures in another way, being gifted with my pencil.
Drawing my first « lewd » pictures was, as much as I can remember, a great moment out of time span and of complete jubilation.
Many of them were destroyed via the school censureship, disappointing my customers. I sold these works for a couple of cigarettes, also forbidden.
Orders flowed in, my reputation expanding with Sunday detentions useful for doing new productions to be delivered on the market Monday mornings.
Sketching at the art school with live models helped refine my technique, but it is only many years later, as a confirmed artist, that I picked up this marvellous leisure again.
A good drawing suffers no imperfection, and at the slightist flaw, the sketch is considered unworthy, which in my concern means « into the dustbin ».
There is alot of loss, the productions worthy of exhibit being only 3 or 4 drawings per year, at the most. If you add the fact that time spent on a drawing (40X50 cm) is far more than that spent on canevas painting (170X150), one can measure the result of this work : absolutely non profitable !
Very often, people find me working on these drawings in my workshop. They respond either with surprise, embarrasement, amusement, but sometimes alot of interest.
« You’re into pornography ? »
« What me ? So this is porn then ? »
« Well, it’s pretty hard-core »
« This is not hard-core, it’s what your father did with your mother. If they didn’t do this, you wouldn’t even be sitting here and talking to me ! »
« This isn’t porn ! What is truely obscene is the speaker on the evening news, paid 30 000 euros a month, dressed in a chanel suit. With a shaky voice and an intense look in her eye, she describes how terrorists open the belly of a young pregnant woman, how they tear out the baby and toss it. That’s every evening, for everyone to hear and see, even kids… »
I thank the libertines, free thinkers and bold people who accepted to model for me, allowing these works to withcome for the appreciation and contemplation of viewers.
I have the greatest admiration for them, they have all my gratitude and devotion forever.

Thierry Bisch, Blaye février 2008.