For this new series of large color drawings I took a movie as a starting point. The movie is L’éternel retour (1943) with Jean Marais, the script is by Cocteau. The film was very popular in Paris during WWII. In my last series Burnt Home my memories of the West Frisian farmhouse I grew up in, were interwoven with the history of my mother. As a continuation of that history I made drawings of my mother as a young girl. With my new work I want to hitch on to the beautiful young woman my mother was before her marriage. In 1943 my mother was at the same age as Natalie in L’éternel retour. In the film the leading actress is saying: “”My name’s Natalie. I’m twenty-two.” The leading actors, Patrice and Natalie, are orphans. In her childhood my mother lost her parents and her sense of duty was so strong that she didn’t have a will of her own, living with her authoritarian brothers.
At the end of the movie the two lovers lying dead next to each other. My mother was a religious woman and would believe with them that real life will come in heaven. Therefore I choose as co-star of my mother the atheist Georges B. (taken from Georges Bataille, the French writer, a charismatic intellectual as opposed to an uncertain, pastoral girl, my mother was). Georges is not fair-haired as Patrice in the movie and also my mother wasn’t a blonde as Natalie. They aren’t a thoroughbred couple as the Nazi would wish at that time.
This series of drawings was awarded with a contribution to working
budget by the Mondriaan Fund.