From Foucault’s “Madness &; Civilization,” follow a few quotes in praise of la folie. Thereafter, I’ll return to this text with more images, and comparison with the previously noted Thévoz texts.
In reference to de Sade, “The madness of desire…the most unreasonable of passions–all are wisdom and reason, since they are a part of the order of nature….There is nothing that the madness of men invents which is not either nature made manifest or nature restored.”
In the “classical experience” of art and madness, “there existed a region where madness challenged the work of art, reduced it ironically, made its iconographic landscape a pathological world of hallucinations; that language which was delirium was not a work of art. And conversely, delirium was robbed of its meager truth of madness if it was called a work of art.”
And on Nietzsche & Artaudian madness…“(it) is the absolute break with the work of art; it forms the constitutive moment of abolition, which dissolves in time the truth of the work of art; it draws the exterior edge, the line of dissolution, the contour against the void (into which they slipped)…Madness is no longer the space of indecision through which it was possible to glimpse the original truth of the work of art, but the decision beyond which this truth ceases irrevocably, and hangs forever over history.”
Though madness is not the only language “common to the work of art and the modern world…but (rather) through madness, a work that seems to drown in the world, to reveal there its non-sense, and to transfigure itself with the features of pathology alone, (it) actually engages within itself the world’s time, masters it, and leads it; by the madness which interrupts it, a work of art opens a void, a moment of silence, a question without an answer, provokes a breach without reconciliation where the world is forced to question itself.”
**It’s perhaps important to reiterate here this blog’s agenda, as well as my own here at the computer. I’m busy reading everything written on the subject of Art Brut, particularly the works and writings of Jean Dubuffet in his search for art in the mental institutions in Europe. Before Madness and Civilization, I’d written about Michel Thévoz’ writings on Art Brut and art chez les fous (Thévoz was the first director of the Art Brut Museum in Lausanne, and a dear friend of Dubuffet), and is an incredibly insightful critic and art historian.
In the months to come, I’ll be updating this site with photos from my visits to archives here in Paris–including the Sainte Anne Hôpital, the abcd-artbrut Gallery, and the Bibliothèque Nationale Française…. among others. At the moment, the blog is a synthesis of what-all I’m reading, what I’m making here in the studio, as well as my two cents on art-openings and exhibitions I’ve attended. And as I mentioned above, I’m aiming to condense these text-fragments into something a bit more directed and pithy… thanks for reading~~
PALANC l’écrituriste, born Francis Palanque, foretold Michel Foucault’s The Order of Things (Les Mots et les choses: Une archéologie des sciences humaines) by almost twenty years.
briefly, in an effort to envigorate the text, to give life to his words on paper, Palanc developed two entirely new alphabets–”ouvertitude,” and “fermotitude,” or opened/closed texts. in exercising these phonic symbols, he’d hoped to discover the perfect voice for his revelations– and of course in finding this voice through writing, the form of the letters themselves would embody the revelation.
and this i love: for most every écriture, there is an expository text. the following is but one example:
Croyez-moi –vivez moi– je vous rénoverai.
Je suis géométrie– visage universel.
Mes lignes sont des mots– des murmures sans bruit.
Par vos gestes qui tracent– la beauté de ma vie.
Lentement– doucement, je vous pénétrerai
Pour venir me loger dans votre être.
Vous ne me verrez pas– vous ne m’entendrez pas,
Pourtant je serai là– chantant silencieux.
A vos états je mêlerai ma voix,
Je freinerai les uns– j’exciterai les autres,
Faisant de votre forme– pureté de mes lignes,
Offrant à votre âme– la clarté de ma vie.
Vous deviendrez– un sublime sourire,
C’est un sourire joie– il est rouge brillant.