The ball that we must carry, the reason why we live


The first text of The Talker Clowntriptych, calledThe Clown of the Swamps, was a poetic evocation of Jean Lambert-wild’s clown, his origins and his language. It evoked Lambert-wild’s childhood, his island and his hypersensitivity to the world. 



We wanted to keep the same momentum for the two texts that were to follow, with the origins and nature of Jean Lambert-wild’s clown as a through-line. These two texts, The Clown of the Boulderand The Clown of the Stream, were yet to be written. Catherine Lefeuvre took to writing one of them, using her privileged perspective: she had witnessed the white clown’s trajectory and his evolutions, having seen him emerge from the searing Calentures. She had the title as a starting point (The Clown of the Boulder), since it already existed in Jean Lambert-wild’s overall poetic design. 

Jean Lambert-wild had foreseen thatThe Clown of the Boulderwould have to focus on the myth of Sisyphus. It was thus necessary to decipher the underground canals that lead from Sisyphus to his white clown. The “Sisyphus” that felt the closest was of course the Sacred scarab, most commonly known as the dung beetle. Taking this as a starting point made it possible to describe a strange character (strange indeed, since he is an insect), who conducts a series of intriguing actions. Through these, he tells a bit of the story of his world and artistic universe and leads us to the figure of the artist-dung beetle. Lambert-wild’s white clown is an archetypal character, with a long history that is both hidden and known. He exists independently of any narrative. To make him appear through the myth of Sisyphus, we had to find a strong identity that would fit him without leading him astray. This is how he became, for this text, the artist-dung beetle. 

The figure of Sisyphus is here anthropomorphically turned into a droll dung beetle. He rolls cowpat, is an experienced astronomer, a stubborn and solitary worker. This echoes many aspects - and not the least comical - of the artist’s condition. Through this literal description of a dung beetle that constructs a ball and journeys, no matter what, to its den,The Clown of the Boulderevokes the artist’s quest, its absurd, senseless yet necessary dimension that Albert Camus described through the rebel in The Myth of Sisyphus. The ball that the clown-dung beetle must carry is poetic matter to be shaped, it is human memory, a quest for language and for a new and different world. 

This parable speaks of the necessary transformation of the artist, of the poet who, leaving a slough behind, opens up different worlds for us. It is also to do with the initiation story of a being who has an absolute confidence in his destiny. His fate escapes him, it imposes itself and allows him to summon poetic gestures. The artist-dung beetle metamorphoses, little by little, into the Clown of the boulder, transforming his putrid ball into a solid rock that he carries as much as it carries him. The artist, starting to resemble and take on the characteristics of the dung beetle, helps us to understand how the effort of doing and constantly starting again is, in itself, our existence’s finality. Whether it is made of rubbish or made of poetic matter, we must carry this ball: it is the reason why we live.


Calenture 277 of the Hypogeum, for one actor devoured by his clown and one juggler eaten alive by his balls.