Watch and Listen

Meurtre n° V – Variation avec miroir by Jacques Monory

A pistol. A clinical space, with tiles lit by neon. A bullet impact on a mirror. In Murder no. V – Variation with mirror by Jacques Monory, a drama has just occurred.

Jacques Monory
Meurtre n° V – Variation avec miroir [Murder no. V – Variation with mirror]
Oil on canvas and bullet-marked mirror
92.2 x 100 cm

Narrated by Yan Schubert, curator Fine Arts Collection

Executed in 1968, Murder no. V – Variation with mirror is part of a series that finds its origin in a break-up that Jacques Monory experienced as an aggression. A lover of American film noir, he seems to create a still image, as if the drama that is being played out could still be avoided.

In a space with cold, clinical tiles lit by neon lighting, a hand with a ring holds a pistol, as in other paintings of the series, and in Ex-, Monory’s first movie with an evocative name, filmed that same year.

The gunshot has been fired but it is unclear if someone has been hit, contrasting with the scene in Murder no. VI where Monory represents himself injured by a hail of bullets.

By incorporating mirrors into his works, onto which he fires actual shots, the artist involves the viewer. But in this murder scene without a body, he allows a certain doubt to linger, as well as his obsession with death.

The colour blue, characteristic of his work to the extent that critics have referred to it as “monorychrome”, functions both as a way of creating a distance and as a signature for this essential artist of the Narrative Figuration movement.