He touches reality like he touches the color of the papers he paints. Then he tears them or cuts them up and glues them by progressing from the background to the surface. Therefore the colored feeling combines with that of the material. Matt Bollinger knows stories, real-life stories that he can piece together in the slightest detail. They come to him in fragments. It starts slowly: a girl smokes a cigarette in an armchair. Two notebooks are placed on a table. The apparent banality of the scene is immediately contradicted by the aggressiveness of the colors. One understands that this way of doing things is closely linked to the intensity of an emotion, which is created by the story itself. Bollinger finds this role of color in the expressionist Hollywood films of Douglas Sirk, as well as in Sirk’s Written on the Wind (1957), in which the brightness of childhood is contrasted with the dark life of heroes who have not seen themselves becoming adults. But Bollinger is no longer content with just freeze frames. He goes further. He wants to attain the very text of the story. With the help of his friend, the poet Dan Magers, he has conceived a project of a series of notebooks. To do so, Dan Magers asked the poets Paige Taggart, Farrah Field, Steven Karl and Alina Gregorian to take part in this project by each contributing a piece of writing on the subject of “summer journey”, all dated 18 August. Bollinger integrates each unique style of writing into his collage process. The handwriting itself is cut out as closely as possible to its graphic style. The result is a work based on a sum of diverse experiences, a composite character specific to Bollinger’s work in general. Like Dan Magers, Bollinger is interested in the paradoxical character of the “group identity”. Magers treats these topics in a book of poems called Partyknife, published in 2012 with the cover designed by Bollinger. Every notebook page is a wall on which an improbable yet strongly-felt story is written. A walk that ends in an adventure where one goes through the holes of a wire fence as if to break through prohibitions and restrictions. A desire that Bollinger expresses with remarkable force in this great wall of bricks – a collage in three parts – where the name “Southaven” is spelled out in steel colored letters which are so perfectly cut out that they seem to be metal. This is a familiar wall, which he could see from his home in his childhood and which, at the same time, marks the presence of the family home and of the community, but also the prohibition to be part of it. Because, for Matt Bollinger, the artist is a perpetual wanderer in search of a truth that eludes him gradually as he seems to be approaching it. Therefore his only refuge is in the work that is constructed. This is probably the reason why he wished to take this rationale further, by creating a sculptural installation, an imitation of a temporary shelter made by a homeless person: an overturned supermarket shopping cart serves as its structure. This installation is the fruit of his collaboration with the artist Rachel Frank, in which each of them contributed their own artistic practices. Together, they designed a construction capable of inviting the spectator, as in the theatre, to an experience parallel to that proposed by Matt Bollinger’s narrative collages: attempting, at every instant, to grasp the beginning of a new story, a true story.