During his first trip to Japan, Benoît Reiss arrives at his hosts’ home and is invited to take a bath. A practice that seems quite natural to them, but for the author, it is a whole world that turns upside down; he meets the O’Yu—hot water in Japanese. In 55 short texts, he moves forward slowly, word by word, stone by stone, bath by bath. Sharing with us his observations, his lively reactions, his magical conversations... The words become in turn droplets, stones, insects. Reality is reversed, the separation between beings and things evaporates; animals speak, long clouds dance, water shivers, words splash us. And all this happens in the hollow of a rock or near a cigarette and can dispenser, in the middle of an artificial garden, on the edge of a highway, in a public bath or in a wooden basin surrounded by black stones. It is there that office workers, grandmother and grandson, workers, bosses, craftsmen, homeless people... but in the baths it doesn’t matter, because it is a question of bodies, of infinite territories and of sensations.
With a sharp eye, from precise observations to internalized sensations, Benoît Reiss signs a moving book where the reader is sometimes absorbed, surprised, amused, seized. He conveys to us the nuances of something essential: the simple and powerful certainty of being alive.
Attentive to the slightest rustle of air, to the tiny droplets, to the brush that empties, to the color that infuses itself, to the minute movements, Anne Leloup’s inks impregnate the pages.
Between them, they transmit to us the great desire to be able to immerse ourselves in water one day and meet the O’Yu...