Boisson imported to Paris in 1669, coffee entered by ” the seemingly heightened effort of awareness and lucidity “. In his History of fatigue, Georges Vigarello returns in particular to the metabolization by society of tobacco, tea and coffee and writes: “The plants of the East confirm more than ever the new regime of weariness, these unprecedented harassments imposed by the city, the court, the dress, the trade, the offices, those which Nicolas de Blégny evokes indirectly. [un chirurgien du XVIIe siècle] by asking the products to “repair dissipated minds, unclog blocked nerves, and by these two effects, increase memory, ensure judgment, give strength and cheerfulness.” “ An entire program.
Three and a half centuries after a remarkable cognitive shift, the figures for coffee consumption in Western countries confirm its indispensable role in modern human activity, at the center of which coffee breaks and tea time invite workers to quickly stretch their legs by giving themselves a healthy boost before stacking up again.
The Taste of M
Dramatized to the point of excess in intellectual work (how many times will it be said that the great Honoré de Balzac, indefatigable author, father of the 2,504 characters of The Human Comedy, drank cisterns?), fuel necessary for repetitive tasks, a warm counterpoint to the life of teleworkers and freelancers in pajamas, its comforting grip is the scene of an aestheticizing ritual shaped by a thousand and one images.
There is a whole range of tics and facial expressions. Legs open or crossed, sleeves rolled up on forearms or pulled at the roots of the nails, gaze to the window, eyes riveted on the surface of an overly lit laptop screen, cup grip with both hands, small finger in the air, plastic stirrer, teaspoon, one liter insulated “camouflage” mug …
All the more so with the gradual and lasting disappearance of tobacco, it is a whole game of “pianistic” hands which takes hold of a daily space conducive to a small staging, simulating an infra-ordinary and poetic choreography of the body, the very one that painters, photographers and filmmakers have taught us to look at.