A l’Heure de l’observatoire: Les amoureux, Man Ray 1932-1934



Searching everywhere
For the color: Nothingness;
Fearful it shares shade
With the tint, Indifference;
Found standing beside — No More


“For in the end, it is all about memory, its sources and its magnitude, and, of course, its consequences.”
― Elie Wiesel, Night                                                                                                  

Video — “Man Ray — The Lovers”
When I think of Man Ray, several things immediately come to mind, his relationship with photographer, Lee Miller and his iconic painting, A l’Heure de l’observatoire: Les amoureux, (Observatory Time: The Lovers ).

In 1935 Man Ray wrote the following about the floating lips:

“It is at seven in the morning, before satisfying an imaginary hunger — the sun not yet decided whether to rise or to set — that your mouth comes to replace all these indecisions. Sole reality validating the dream, resisting awakening, it stays suspended in the void, between two bodies.

“It becomes two bodies, separated by a slender, undulating horizon. Like the earth and the sky, like you and me, as so like everything down to microscopic objects, invisible to the eye. The eye itself becomes invisible, just as everything that is too near, like everything that is too far becomes invisible. But your mouth that can come closer without losing anything, which makes itself felt more by coming close up to the intensity of contact, has no need to see. Nor need of light, the astronomical accomplice of time. Now time must go back to see things clearly, but your mouth does not tolerate removal, which stops it from seeing.

“No matter that I become blind — liberated from all concern with appearances, touch and speech will be my strengths. One can close one’s eyes in order not to see — one cannot stop oneself from feeling when one is touched nor from hearing when spoken to. Were it only the finger placed on it to stop it talking, the silent mouth must touch.

“Lips of sun, you attract me ceaselessly, and in this moment before wakening, when I detach myself from my body — I am weightless — I join you again in the neutral light and in the empty space, and sole reality, I kiss you with all that still remains of me: my own lips.”

67 thoughts on “Oblique

    1. Alan, thank you for your kindness. I adore Man Ray’s work, Lee Miller is fascinating too. I hope you enjoyed the video and Man Ray’s thoughts about his own painting. Wishing you a terrific evening and upcoming week. Take care. ~ Mia

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Carisa, such a pleasure to see your beautiful picture. I agree, I love the video too, very endearing, it speaks volumes about their relationship in such a beautiful way. Wishing you a lovely week, please be well. ~ Mia ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  1. ‘Oblique’ constraints me tell u m in love with this post …u bring in so much craft with u Mia, fabulous…I absolutely admire it 🙂
    “..Found standing beside — No More”…brilliant

    “Man Ray — The Lovers”, m awestruck to it…. thank u for bringing me across ‘Man Ray’ I just love ‘The floating lips’…its like watching a Terrence Malick movie.

    Mia u r commendable in bringing all of it together…high regards….stay blessed always 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Saaransh, you’re so kind, thank you. I’m pleased that you enjoyed this effort. Man Ray and Lee Miller are both fascinating to me, and favorites for sure. The video is indeed lovely and heartfelt, I think it did a beautiful job of highlighting their relationship. Wishing you a wonderful week, please be well. ~ Mia 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Crafty as always… Mia, I’m reading this as a call to action “Nothingness” and “Indifference” setting up the call of “No more.” The call could be for love and given the times here perhaps a call to speak up against so many of the social ills. Either way, you knocked it out. Be well, Mia.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chris, you’re right, it can speak to so many different scenarios. You’ve just reminded me of the movie, “Network” with Bill Holden where he goes on a rampage, persuading his viewers to go to their windows and shout out, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

      When I finished writing this, the first image that came to my mind was the painting, “Observatory Time…” and also the keepsake made out of lead, “The Lovers”. Strange this is a reproduction, the word is the original was lost. Hmm, makes me wonder, really, how do you lose something like that?

      Thank you so much for your kind words and wishes. Please be well too. ~ Mia


  3. Mia,

    Oblqiue stands in a fascinating contrast with both the painting and the excerpt (I could not see the video for some reasons). The feelings of someone whose love makes every sense heightened, to a remnant of solitude.

    Wonderful my friend!

    May your day be as brilliant as your beautiful mind.
    Much love! ❤ Dajena

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Dajena for your wonderfully kind words.

      Man Ray had a terrible time when his relationship with Miller ended. I don’t think he was ever the same. He spent a couple years of his life, in the mornings when he felt up to it, working on, “A l’Heure de l’observatoire: Les amoureux”, apparently it hung over his bed during the creation.

      Sadly, I was stunned that I couldn’t find the entire excerpt on line, I had to transcribe it from a book, the old fashioned way, ha-ha! It’s a fabulous painting, if fact so much so the image of Lee Miller’s lips, looks like a woman reclining on her side. Even today his work is still fantastic. Rambling…You can tell I adore Ray Man and Lee Miller.


      If you would like to watch the video, it’s a lovely tribute to both of them, really well done, the approach is fabulous and so creative. Please don’t feel you must.

      Wishing you a brilliant day as well. Please enjoy the rest of the week.

      Much love,
      Mia ❤


    1. Thank you for the lovely words. Likewise, I’m fascinated with both of these artists. Yes, I noticed that about your site, I had but a brief time to look about and was immediately drawn to your Lee Miller post. I’m looking forward to spending more time on your site. I smiled when I saw your home page background, I thought to myself, yay! Wishing you a wonderful evening. ~ Mia

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Rob, you’re welcome and thank you it was my pleasure. You have a new riff, I’m so excited, I can’t wait to hear it. It must have been the combo of the “drop d” and the “Bombay Sapphire”, yay!!! Cheers to you! *Smiling* 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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