Fascinating fire…

fire 1

A fire must have some primeval fascination to it. It happen back in November, 2001, at Magog, where I was living, at the time… It was almost dark (4-5 pm) and I was coming from downtown and I saw this big light and heard sirens and saw people running and gathering there, 100-200 m from this house in fire, on Sherbrooke street … The flames were bright and everything was ablaze. All the firemen could do was to try to localize the fire and not let the flames get to the houses around. Fortunately, it was a corner house (some shop or other, no people inside) and not very close to any other… In 1/2 h tens of people gathered to watch, hypnotized… and myself, even if interested by the fire I started drawing them, the watchers… It was like a medieval feast or something… people all ages, children and teens, old people and whatnot… I draw perhaps 1 h, 1 1/2 h, almost without stopping, not feeling the cold, like in a trance, until my sketching book was full and my black oil pastels finished… Of course, not all sketches were good. But some were… and I will remember that fire all my insignificant life: the flames (high wind), the darkness, the firemen, and especially, the other people, watching…and myself, drawing… Too tired to translate, today. Sorry!

fire 2

Le feu doit avoir quelque chose de très ancien et de fascinant… C’était en novembre 2001, à Magog, ou j’habitai… La noirceur de la nuit était déjà là, peut-être 4-5 de l’après-midi… Je revenais de centre ville quand j’ai vu, sur la rue Sherbrooke, toutes ces lumières, les gens qui couraient, j’entendais les sirènes des pompiers et je me suis rendu compte que c’était un incendie… une maison (probablement un magasin ou quelque chose de pareil, il n’y avait plus des gens à l’intérieur…) Puis j’ai vu les flammes qui étaient brillantes et vives (il y avait du vent et le feu crépitait) et faisait la nuit plus noire. Pleines de gens de toutes âges s’étaient ressembler pour regarder, fascinés… Il y avait des petits enfants avec leur parents, des adolescents, de vieux… Il regardaient le spectacle du feu, fascinés, et mois je les regardais, eux… J’ai dessiné peut être 1h, une heure et demie, sans sentir le froid, comme en transe, jusque mon cahier d’esquisse a été pleins et mon pastel d’huile noir, terminé… Bien sur, pas toutes les esquisses était bonnes. Mais il y avaient de pas mal… pompierset je vais me souvenir cette incendie toute ma insignifiante vie: les flammes et le vent, la noirceur, les pompiers et surtout, les gens qui regardait… et moi qui les dessinait….

fire 3

Focul are ceva primordial, ceva foarte vechi si fascinant… S-a întamplat în noiembrie 2001, la Magog, unde locuiam… Era deja aproape întuneric iar eu ma întorceam din centru când am vazut toate comotzia aceea, pe strada Sherbrooke… Lume care alerga înspre o casa în flacari…pompierii, cu sirenele care urlau… flacarile vii, foarte luminoase si zburatacite de vant, care pocneau…întunericul noptzii, parca intensificat de lumina flacarilor… Erau oameni de toate vârstele: parintzi cu copii mici, adolescentzi, batrâni… Toata lumea privea fascinata la foc… Am desenat poate 1 ora, o ora si jumatate, fara sa simt frigul, ca în transa, pâna cand hartia mi s-a terminat, ca si pastelul gras negru… Binentzeles, nu toate schitzele erau bune…dar unele erau. si eu îmi voi aminti toata viatza mea neînsemnata acel incendiu: flacarile si vantul, întunericul dimprejur, pompierii si, mai ales, oamenii care priveau focul fascinatzi… si eu care-i desenam…

(copyright©dan iordache, 2008, texte & images)


8 responses to “Fascinating fire…

  1. These are wonderful drawings, all three. It was a great idea to draw those people while they stood there watching the fire. Fire has a strange attraction but people are better. There’s something nice about the moment: they stand there so quietly, dreaming. Somehow we don’t even need to see their faces. I’m glad these are drawings and not photos, though you take a good picture too. What is it that drawings have?

  2. Good question, 100swallows! I wondered often about that, also…maybe, the fact that drawings are very personal, very individual, like writing? (no wonder Chinese and Japonese do not separate them and caligraphy is no different than drawing)

    I started drawing them almost without thinking and at the time I always carreied around a minimum of sketching stuff (usually a hard cover sketching pad and at least a pencil and oil pastels – very good for drawing, the black one! Generally, I do not favor oil pastels for painting but for sketching they are good…) Anyway, the fire was so damn instable, in the wind, so “moveable” that I naturally choose the staying subject: people, fascinated by fire…

  3. ovidiu stanomir

    Nu stiu de ce, personajele tale sunt intoarse cu spatele?…

    intreb, nu vreau sa fac interpretari sau aluzii; nimic altceva decit nedumerire…

  4. Ovidiu, mon ami! In cazul acesta fiindca, asa cum scriam in textul in romaneste insotzind desenele, “Toata lumea priveste fascinanta la foc” (probabil ca “toata lumea priveste fascinata focul” e mai corect!)

    Oricum, ca sa0i fac din fatza ar fi trebuit sa intru in foc…Si era racoare in seara aceea, dar nu chiar ATAT de racoare…

  5. mihail medrea

    oameni moderni…

    intr-o societate traditionala ar fi pus mina sa stinga incendiul !

  6. Nu, amice, gresesti! Intr-o societate primitiva ar fi facut ce spui! In societatzile moderne pompierii fac treaba asta – exclusiv! civilii nu sunt admisi si pe buna dreptate: s-ar putea rani sau ar putea face mai mult rau decat bine cu celel mai bune intentzii…
    Casa era condamnata si nu era nimic de facut decat sa localizeze focul si sa-l impiedice sa se intinda. Proprietarii casei, cum se intampla aici in 99 % din cazuri, erau asiguratzi, nu pierdeau nimic (si nu e exclus sa fi pus ei insisi focul). Nimic de facut decat sa privesti spectacolul…

  7. mihail medrea

    spectacolul (g)lumii… sinistra gluma, pardon, lume !

  8. Mihail…cetatean turmentat? nu-mi vine sa cred!

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