1991 - 1999
His long stay in Guyanese Amazonia in 1991 is at the heart of a research process that spreads over several years. Jean Hirtzel deals with the themes of Effigies and Apparitions that culminate in the theme Visions. His “need to wander” is no longer satisfied by the travels of his youth ; shamanism opens up other perspectives in his artistic endeavours. The creative experience, liberated from all rational will, plays out like a “voyage” in a truly pictorial world being constituted by the artist’s gestures. This experience reaches a culminating point that Jean Hirtzel calls a “vision”; a moment of conviction that signifies the end of a trip in which the trajectory is unforeseen. In a way, the work produced remains a “travel” notebook.
"During this ultimate voyage, we arrive successively in different places, of which we cannot seize the contours, but which, in this out-of-time experience, offers us a vision, not images, but a flux, a pulse, a constant desire to go. What I am speaking about is an absolute necessity to continue. And what should we pursue if not what appears and then disappears, appears again and then dissipates each time we try to capture it, so that we can know the unknowable. At the bow of the skiff we are now, searching in the night the illusion that escapes when it is barely born".
J. Hirtzel, Charognards et Cerfs-volants, 1998, p.16,17.