Working on a block extracted from an imposing granite quarry in Mont Blanc, Tony Hervier magnifies the unrefined stone and brings forth a reclining Buddha.Chisel and hammer in hand, this craftsman moulds his subject with precise, self-assured gestures, delivering a sculpture of serene spirituality.
From the first two stones sprang the spark that created the fire. Then came the stone of beauty, from the time of the builders, the sculptors and the stonemasons. Tony Hervier is one of them, of those who awaken the gods and the creatures asleep in their granite cradle. And so, film-maker Georges de Genevray takes us on a voyage of discovery into the heart of stone.
Man fashioned the tip of his arrow from flint, launched it skywards and in its wake, travelled through the ages. "Life-sized DUST”. The meaning of the words follows the arrow’s arc and the poetry of the images guides the viewer to the confluence of wild matter and the spirit. Emerging from the mist, a planet takes shape in a grain of sand.
The eye of the director captures the sculptor’s premonitory dream. Freed from its strips of earth by the trickle of rivers, a rocky outcrop, balancing on time’s tightrope, reveals itself beneath a cloak of lichen. The stonemason, a tiny colossus at the foot of the granite, embraces the centuries.
Then, it’s the machines that come to the man's rescue, vibrating, as powerful as the forces of creation at work on primal magma. While Mali Ali’s musical score runs along the contours of the sculptor's shifting landscapes, images come thick and fast in the illusory to-ing and fro-ing of time at the director’s whim.
Light of touch, breath and chisel, the stonemason frees himself from the Iron Age. Regaining control, it is his spiritual imprint that the man engraves at last on the fifth stone of his humanity. And on the languid body of this stone, just as the five fingers of his hand give birth to the immortality of a smile, Tony Hervier builds his church!
As the night draws on, a stream of clouds flows moonwards... Pupil open beneath the eyelid of half-light, the Being awakes.
Viviane Montagnon was born in Lyon and lives in Bresse. She is a writer, an author of songs and theatre, an actor, and a singer. One of her latest works Le Panier de Lucette (Lucette’s Basket) was published in 2014 by Editions Aréopage.