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“What matters is not the picture. It’s the gesture.” 

In the first days of the lockdown that affected billions of humans in spring 2020, Yves Dimier decided to post a calligraphic word – a calligram – on social media, with a message inviting visitors to do likewise. “Take a soft brush, some India ink, and draw it yourself dozens of times on paper, as if you are becoming the word!” 

“And what if contemporary art had the power to innovate, in its ability to be experienced by the greatest number; to ask questions about the meaning of life; and to enable everyone, referencing Seneca, to encounter their inner beauty and build a visionary equilibrium?

I am convinced that art should be proclaimed not only within a few very official networks but also, and especially, in the gigantic ability of humankind today, all over the planet, to practise and make. What matters is not the picture. It’s the gesture.” 

Encouraged by web users’ feedback, he continued the adventure, creating and posting a new calligram each day until 11 May 2020, ending with the word MERCI. All these calligrams form the gallery below. 

Click on an image, and an associated text, thought or quotation (in French) appears. 

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