le fil rouge 2007


On a drip, precious pearls, sealed with a secret, the 39 head-shaped clay bullae which contain counting tokens* are snaking.

To connect itself? To untie itself? To walk on a razor’s edge, neither on the left, nor on the right, just on the edge, without failing?


*clay bullae, counting tokens

During the second half of the 4th millennia BCE, Mesopotamians were used to make clay bullae by shaping a clay ball with their thumb. Inside the formed cavity, they confined counting tokens (sticks, marbles, cones) corresponding to the quantity and the quality of the goods borrowed during a transaction. On this wrapping, an authority placed his seal. The bulla was then closed. During the delivery of a herd to a herdsman, for example, a bulla with a quantity of tokens corresponding to the number of heads of cattle was also included. In case of dispute, they broke the bulla to verify the value of the transaction. The number of tokens could be easily compared to the number of animals that the owner was supposed to receive.