riots and/or poetics [4/2019]

December Journal / 2017 secret idea / of yours / that you / could become a better person / if you read the right books // at the ica fred moten speaks of “battling with identity against / the backdrop of the denial of identity” // yes yes yes // I have to fight against my urge to ascetism and self-sacrifice / but I’m reading about simone weil again – she seems like the / most beautiful / she says, “when you decide something always do what will cost / you the most” // I would like there not to be grants / no crowdfunding / no paperwork to prove your need / no application to decide who…

Antonin Artaud | Letter to Peter Watson

    Paris, 27 July 1947   Dear Sir, I entered into literature by writing books in order to say that I was unable to write anything, my thought when I had something to say or to write was what was denied me most. I never had any ideas and two very short books, 70 pages each, revolve around this profound, inveter- ate, endemic absence of any idea. They are l’Ombilic des Limbes and le Pèse-Nerfs. At the time they seemed to me full of cracks, of faults, of platitudes, and as if stuffed with spontaneous abortions, of abandonings and…

Antonin Artaud

  This is the first solo exhibition dedicated to the work of Antonin Artaud to be staged in the UK, and more significantly to focus on the rarely seen notebooks which Artaud began working on from the time of his arrival at the Rodez mental asylum in 1945, until his death at the Ivry clinic in 1948. The eventual 20,000 pages of image-text amalgam constitute one of his most significant bodies of work. An unclassifiable volume of writing and drawing. Portraits, names, calculations, glossolalia, sigils, lists of drugs and foods stuffs, formulae, totems, lexicons, anatomies, objects, (boxes, chains and nails), machines and implements of obscure purpose. There…

Antonin Artaud | Alienation and Black Magic & Peter Valente | from ‘The Artaud Variations’

  ALIENATION AND BLACK MAGIC   Insane asylums are conscious and premeditated receptacles of black magic, and it is not only that doctors encourage magic with their inopportune and hybrid therapies, it is how they use it. If there had been no doctors there would never have been patients, no skeletons of the diseased dead to butcher and flay, for it is through doctors and not through patients that society began. Those who live, live off the dead. And it is likewise necessary that death live; and there is nothing like an insane asylum for gently incubating death, and for…

Alexander Trocchi | A Revolutionary Proposal: Invisible Insurrection of a Million Minds

And if there is still one hellish, truly accursed thing in our time, it is our artistic dallying with forms, instead of being like victims burnt at the stake, signalling through the flames. — Antonin Artaud, The Theatre and Its Double, 1958 Revolt is understandably unpopular. As soon as it is defined, it has provoked the measures for its confinement. The prudent man will avoid his definition which is in effect his death-sentence. Besides, it is a limit. We are concerned not with the coup d’etat [seizure of the state] of Trotsky and Lenin, but with the coup du monde [seizure of the world], a transition…

Antonin Artaud | Sylvère Lotringer; All Paranoiacs (Interview with Paule Thévenin)

Antonin Artaud | Post-Scriptum Who am I? Where do I come from? I am Antonin Artaud and if I say it as I know how to say it immediately you will see my present body fly into pieces and under ten thousand notorious aspects a new body will be assembled in which you will never again be able to forget me. Translated by Clayton Eshleman   False Witnesses Sylvère Lotringer: You never told me how you met Artaud. Paule Thévenin: No, and I won’t say anything. SL: Ah! It’s a secret. PT: No. People are false witnesses. SL: And you?…

Antonin Artaud | Manifesto In A Clear Language

If I believe neither in Evil nor in Good, if I feel such a strong inclination to destroy, if there is nothing in the order of principles to which I can reasonably accede, the underlying reason is in my flesh. I destroy because for me everything that proceeds from reason is untrustworthy.I believe only in the evidence of what stirs my marrow, not in the evidence of what addresses itself to my reason. I have found levels in the realm of the nerve. I now feel capable of evaluating the evidence. There is for me an evidence in the realm…