House of Images

Bara & Friends

Introduction by Josse Goffin

According to etymology, an explorer is one who travels through and reports on a little-known country. If we consider only the recent Western world, Max would belong to the select club that includes Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, James Cook, Livingstone and Stanley, Robert Peary, Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Edmund Hillary, Yuri Gagarin, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Each of these legends is characterized by the paradox of combining an unreasonable dream with the most sophisticated stewardship. No exploration is possible without planning and the collaboration of an entire team, or even the support of an entire nation.

Unless we understand the word in a modern, metaphorical sense, like exploring the pleasures of the kitchen or the senses, or even more prosaically, exploring supermarket folders or the Ikea catalog. Max the Explorer bears witness to this era of devaluation of the meaning of words. This is confirmed by the very name "Max", diminutive of Maxime or Maximilien, derived from "maximus", superlative of "magnus", the greatest, the six letters and syllables of a dense collective image reduced to the three small letters of the affectionate first name. Max would thus be the modern intuition of a language governed by apocope, which wants to go fast, suggesting a maximum in a minimum of signs. Max l'explorateur also reflects this contemporary redefinition of the use of words and signs.

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