Created in August 1995, “ZEPA” is regarded by those who have followed Jean-Michel FICHOT’s work as a breakpoint from the original “Enfeus” (Funerary Recesses) series inaugurated in 1984. A selection of ZEPA sketches is shown here.

Here the artist is no longer limited to a representation of the world through the voluptuously distorted, smooth, or sublimated bodies found in the “Monde Femme” (Woman World), the Divas, the African art, the Bathers, the tributes paid to Titian and to Picasso, or in the serpentine motion of the Alignements (Alignments).

For the first time, beyond idealized visions of music and enchanted dreams, he commits himself to dealing with reality without any shocking intrusion, even in his Enfeus (Funerary Recesses) which, dealing with the theme of death, were meant to be a reflection and a link between Baroque and Classical styles, as well as works about repetition and what it can produce.  Also running through his work is a loathing of the past century and of the one to come, with their mass graves, warlike or mystic singings, and mute and anonymous choruse.

In ZEPA, the suffering creeps quite perceptibly with her slashed, wounded and smashed body. We are far from “l’Enlèvement d’Europe” created in 1991, and the courtship display of the bull, women’s bodies and putty, staging anew Simon VOUET’s wonderful composition created during the so-called baroque period.  We now look deeply into a war, the war that rocked the heart of Europe, a war that broke up Yugoslavia not so long ago.

ZEPA.  Who still remembers the name of this Moslem enclave fallen along with Sebrenica that 25th day of July 1995?

Exploded wombs, women who are abducted, raped, forced into a pregnancy filled with the hatred of their own flesh while their men are sent to pits which will become mass graves.

ZEPA is there before us, visible, mutilated, standing with her hands joined low to shield her sex and her dignity.  She no longer has a face, she does not scream, rather she invites us and begs for a universal prayer against our internal urge for amnesia.

She is standing on a pedestal, which itself rests on a ground soiled with jagged bodies, as our lives are scattered in an outburst of pleasures that are splintered through the oblivion of the individuality bestowed on us in the act of love.

ZEPA, simply wants to summon us in the secrecy of our consciences to join her in a prayer not intended for superior occult forces, but rather for us, who are watching her.

Marie – Emmanuelle GUILLAUME. September 2002 - translation