Perpignan – Former mayor Jean-Paul Alduy released a watercolor book: “It’s like a memorial letter”

Jean-Paul Alduy, former president of the urban community of Perpignan Méditerranée (2000-2014), senator of the Pyrénées-Orientales (2001-2011), mayor of Perpignan (1993-2009) and chief advisor of the department (1992), is at the forefront of the artistic media scene with the publication of a watercolor book. returns to the ranks. “Until my last breath.” His works were first published on Facebook in 2020 “to keep in touch with the thick of society.” Today, his work is still remembered with a political mark “pizzicato” as he admitted.

Jean-Paul Alduy Why choose such a title for a book of watercolors in the first place? “Until My Last Breath” ?

It was the first title “The fear of forgetting.” I am not afraid of death, I am an atheist for myself “You were born dust, you will be dust again.” Social death somewhere, you have to accept it. Painting, like painting, was a form of therapy to guide this anterior chamber toward ultimate extinction. Breaking the landscape is the way to beauty and spirituality. And what I always need. So it’s not ultimately the fear of forgetting that keeps me going. Rather, I will remain a thoughtful and militant citizen until my last breath.

“I’ve never read a speech, it was a bit like a watercolor.”

Why is watercolor used now? Is it a painting technique that requires you to immerse yourself in a bubble of calm, a character trait away from the hyperactivity unleashed during your chosen mandates?

Listen, I’m going to go against you. Watercolors are quite fast: I got one from Bryce Canyon (Utah, USA) in less than a minute. Once the juices are out, you can’t fix it if you miss it. And you don’t know what results you will get. There is some kind of secret. It’s like a political speech: the sentences come, sometimes you know how to get down when you need to, and sometimes it’s porridge for cats. I’ve never read a speech, it was a bit like a watercolor.

Is there a belligerence in your fiction book?

There’s politics, that’s for sure. During the 2001 senatorial elections, there are watercolors on the paintings of the villages that I offered to the mayors, and the works I painted in Perpignan. I explain the origin, the way, as I draw Qui Vauban, Place République, TGV station, Monastery of the Carmelites, Casa Musicale, Visa pour l’Image at the Monastery of the Minims, because nothing has been easy. . It is a book like a souvenir letter.

"For me "Catalan Perpignan" was plural, proud of its cosmopolitanism and geopolitics."

“For me, Perpignan la Catalane was proud of its cosmopolitanism and geopolitics.”

National Rally at Perpignan City Hall in 2020: “It hurts me to write and comment on all this”

You write there: “I have to be honest, this retreat to watercolor production was born in the 2020 municipal elections.” Without mentioning his name, you mention the arrival of the far-right elected Louis Aliot at the head of Perpignan. Did watercolor allow you to expel this political component?

No, it’s not trauma. It hurt me to write and comment on all these things when I saw the disintegration of political opinion in our city and later in our department. I said to myself: – Jean-Paul, you will look like a statue of the Commander full of sourness. When I saw Radiant Perpignan coming… (cries) It was more like an eclipse. I didn’t name the new mayor in my book because it’s nobody’s problem. But about values: Do we find the value of secularism when Saint-Jean-Baptiste shines in the center of the city’s logo? Projects: for me “Perpignan la Catalane” was the majority, proud of its cosmopolitanism, its geopolitics.

"By leaving the post of mayor, who was barely re-elected, to my first deputy, I have destroyed everything I have built."

“By leaving the position of mayor, who was re-elected with difficulty to my first deputy, I destroyed everything I built.”

In the chapter dedicated to the Théâtre de l’Archipel, you mention that you resigned from the mandate of the mayor of Perpignan (2009) in favor of Jean-Marc Pujol, who did not mention you, fully investing yourself in the society of the agglomeration. it reads: “I apologize for making this irresponsible decision that a little clarity should have eluded me…” Do your watercolors reflect a political guilt?

But absolutely! I’m 80, which gives you time to back off. Looking back on this period, I realize that I made a huge mistake. People didn’t understand me when they just impressively beat me (53.54% of the vote, -33.08% over Socialist Jacqueline Amiel-Donat – and -13.38% over Jean Codonnes’s MoDem/Greens list), editor’s note. ) that I left my scarf to my first deputy. For some reason, they considered it a betrayal. I ruined everything I built. My follower lacked the necessary charisma for the urban project I launched to find the same dynamics. For me, economic power came from the community of communes. The citizen did not understand him. If the citizen does not understand, you are the one who is wrong. This is a political mistake. I beat my guilt. My mistake caused the National Rally to come to the town hall of Perpignan.

"Surrounded by love, I am healthy.  Bitterness is not allowed."

“I am surrounded by love, I am healthy. Pain is not allowed.”

You say that you are not afraid of death, but “you are afraid of being forgotten.” Does your collective memory erasure scare you enough to warrant a follow-up?

No, but so do all politicians who believe they have eternal life. You have to accept it. You must have something to live for until your last breath, a watercolor to make, an analysis to offer. And at the same time knowing that the trace will disappear. At the beginning of the book, I am worried about the pocket of air in my hand. Finally, moving forward in the production of the book, I calm myself down, because it is normal to forget everything. Surrounded by love, I am healthy. Bitterness is not allowed.

You end your book with a watercolor painting of the Alduy family barn in Palalda and the words: “To rest here after my last breath…” Aren’t you delivering a testament here?

No testament, I hope to write others too! I have understood the Alduy family tree in several copies up to 1600, but these books are for my children, grandchildren, and those who will come after. I thought it was good to end it like that. Captain François Alduy, son of one of my grandfather’s brothers who died in 1914, Légion d’Honneur, rests there. My mother, Jacqueline, and my father, Paul, are there. Of course I will go see them when I have my last breath.

This Friday, December 2, 2022, at 6:00 p.m., at the Torcatis bookstore in Perpignan, a meeting with Jean-Paul Alduy about the book Until My Last Breath, 172 pages, 24 euros, published by Les presses littéraires.

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