Chatila takes material at face value; the media used for his paintings are like an open book to him. He can read stories in the depths of his material. It commands all of his attention and he then decides which the most important aspects to subtly transform. The observer is then able to express his view of the world through painting in his own way.
"I've always been obsessed with seeking out, or "discovering" what lies behind things.
I can't bear dressing up reality; what is the reality deep within? What is the truth?
Is it what we see or what is hidden?....... Often light is behind things".
Chatila draws unresolved images from a story evading form. Reaching the formless opens the floodgates of the beholder’s imagination.
After observing, he first keeps the memory of the strata of colours that he finely layers and scratches until saturation with a repeated, impulsive gesture, punctuated with incisions, streaking like scars.
He removes and adds material to material, thus creating a graphic chaos of scratches and caresses.
This transformation, devoid of decoration, appears to hide a secret. Chatila raises the issue of monochrome, in fine layers, seeking its depth within.
What lies beyond appearances? What does it tell us?
Is it the fruit of a desire to resist the destructive hand of humans?
Is it the chaos needed before birth?
Whatever it is, it is a real fascination for the material of the medium which leads him to paradoxically seek to break or subject it to the repeated force of his gestures.
Pushed to the limit of its resistance, of its texture, Chatila works the material in order to coax another reality from it. Revealing a genesis buried under its appearances, for him it is a way of unearthing treasures and returning them to the world, making them visible.
There is nothing melancholic in his approach; there are no backward steps. Only a gesture of love for what exists.
Chatila strives to reach out and connect with what lies behind the material. His own intimacy and relationship with his object are brought into play.
The resulting texture is the echo of his rhythmic gestures which seek out the material’s limits of resistance. A close combat in the workshop with the aim of reaching the mystery.
He is in another time.
But which time is it?
The time like a gap, a space where the before and after meet, stamped with the pleasure of the quest for freedom.
Moving forward, what matters is that what he reveals is light, under curves and which seems to gravitate towards us. He captures energy where we least expect it. He ties and unties images to reveal the impermanence of things with an absence of references.
Is this a way to point at coming tensions in the distance? A pause on the fragile present which calls for some resistance to the hectic pace of today's world? An analogy to the lack of references in the multitude, the speed of the images tipped onto the canvas of discordant media?
Chatila applies strength and the intensity through his scratching action on the canvas until it fractures, tears.
He then works on aluminium for its particular resistance and ability to meet increasingly intense pictorial demands. He seeks other more impactful metal-related tools. The hammer and fire allow him to explore the effects of shocks on overheated aluminium, endowing this transformation with a form of tenderness. Like the sap rising in the tree in the springtime to revive it.
He thus shows that the material can also evolve, grow, spread, distort, suffer and that it also has its weaknesses. Its presence is waiting for a transformation into another existence. To reveal another aspect of itself which so far has been ignored.
TRANSition of the gaze
The quest for light in the medium itself has become the purpose of his work. He teases it in all its dimensions, in its depth, in the infinite vibrations of the colours, taking advantage of their surfaces to open up the space that it creates.
Fine glacis of overlapping colours, he likes the nuances which are for him similar to journeys, bright flavours to share.
It is an invitation to taste the view he proffers, to savour the moment which says everything yet imposes nothing, which simply returns us to ourselves.
Through his impulsiveness, Chatila asserts his vision of space to give rise to another, which in turn calls upon others to seemingly impassable boundaries. Yet he crosses them and carries on through.
Like a field awaiting germination, the surface bulges and splits to bring forth the light. A gap without borders.
Shifting the boundaries to move them, to go further, backwards, against the grain. Saying no is an eternal challenge to build, to be born, to grow. Life occupies its rightful place here.
The double-sided work in the surface which transits to space, as if we had found ourselves in the midst of an immaterial landscape.
On the threshold of disappearance, collages, scratches and ripping act in jubilation of disintegration; he uses breaking as a way of existing.
A step into the void of transparency, to contemplate all forms of light. To challenge its fluidity and fill it up with disruptive gestures, blocking it from going around in circles. Chatila plays with the organic aspect of synthetic material to give rise to tension. He playfully uses media where everything can be seen, where there is no deception.
The deep inscription of successive points melted on both sides in the cellophane, transcribing their grammar. No lines, but a myriad of cones which scarifies the surface like a starry sky.
As for the glass, it is the collage of their breakages on plexi which engrave their permanence like a freeze frame of an accident which, seen in this way, reveals threads of pure glacial light. They put their fragile, precious aspect to good use; placed on the ground or suspended, they take on the weightlessness of our gazes.
No tranquillity in his work of repeating a gesture.
Looking at another perspective of this existing object, as ridiculous as it may be. On the quest for the simple jubilation of just being there.
To protect the fragility of the present moment, it seems that for Chatila, a picture is a dream-protecting wall.
Manipulating the material is therefore a dialogue with the depths of the reality that he tames. He seeks to give way to the sublime in this encounter.
Each time it is the chrysalis material that harmlessly dematerialises, surrenders and
TRANSfigures into another state of itself.
To another truth, the echo of both sides of one thing is given as a body of the material which grows before our eyes.
Avoiding oblivion, banality, adding plenty of spice, meditation.
Where does it start?
Does it have an end?
No answers here, but face-to-face with the mobility of the moment, its pure and simple preciousness, its rawness which leads us, if we allow it, to contemplation.