riots and/or poetics [10/2019]

TRILCE XXVII    That flood frightens me, / good memory, strong sir, implacable / cruel sweetness. It frightens me. / This house does me complete good, complete / place for this not knowing where to be. // Let’s not go in. It frightens me, this favour / of returning by minutes, by blown up bridges. / I’m not going ahead, sweet sir, / brave memory, sad / singing skeleton. // What content, of this haunted house, / gives me deaths by mercury, and blocks / with lead my conduits / to sheer reality. // The flood that doesn’t know how…

Antonin Artaud | Van Gogh the man suicided by society

  Apropos of Van Gogh, magic and spells: all the people who, for two months now, went to see the exhibition of his works at the Musée de l’Orangerie, are they really sure they remember everything they did and all that happened to them every evening of the months of February, March, April and May 1946? Was there not a certain evening when the atmosphere of the air and the streets became liquid, gelatinous, unstable, and when the light from the stars and the heavenly vault disappeared? And Van Gogh who painted the café in Arles was not there. But…

Mehdi Belhaj Kacem | Tomb for Guy Debord

Guy Debord was the avant-garde’s Christ. Guy Debord was the avant-garde’s Christ. He was immolated by his own ideology, which he more than anyone (Tzara, Duchamp, Artaud, the Viennese Actionists…) had pushed to its extremes. He covered all of its possibilities, all of its impasses. His extreme attempts were neither successes, nor failures. Today, his path should be evaluated through other methods: the ones left to us in the wake of the avant-garde’s disappearance. To put it as Reiner Schürmann does: truth is a “conflictuality without agreements.” It is within Debord’s insurmountable contradictions, whose political, aesthetic, and existential preoccupations were…

Antonin Artaud : Years of Incarceration | by Stephen Barber

The asylum incarceration which Artaud underwent in the years from 1937 to 1946 has as much contradiction and productivity as the other phases of his life. But it was certainly the most deeply painful phase. The internment began with a period of self-preoccupation which Artaud broke only to berate his doctors and to demand external confirmation for the hallucinations he was experiencing. During the early part of Artaud’s internment, at Rouen and Sainte-Anne, his behaviour gives the impression of great austerity and of a profound, self-sufficient calm. Although he spent his time in the company of the many different kinds…

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…