A fundamental fact stands out in the media-culture of the image: that Power has been able to use it as avant-garde evidence of its discourse, turning the image into the foundation of its goals: the instrumentalisation of the imaginary. In this way, Power has found in the image an unexpectedly effective and aestheticising tool that establishes the objective order of appearance and illusion, and at the same time makes its transparent violence acceptable.
To arrive at such a state of affairs, it was necessary to implant so-called freedom of expression into the liberal dynamics of “sensure” (censure of sense, a term coined by the French poet Bernard Nöel) to make it reappear, after a barely perceptible displacement, under a new name: freedom of representation, a concept undoubtedly closer to that of the free market with which it is associated. As a result of this distortion, which takes the form of a cataclysm, representation occupies an increasingly preferential position in respect to imagination, to the point that we can state that imagination, now ruled by the laws of representation, is losing all connotations of interiority. This is, of course, a disaster that promises to wipe out the primordial ‘sin of thinking’ which joined us to vision(1). And it should not seem apocalyptic to say, together with the critics of cybernetic and telematic societies, that we no longer see because we have ceased to think and imagine, and we have switched to representing and visualising (although this is not all, as we shall try to express further on). The current overwhelming outbreak of images tells us, on the one hand, that the image has been liberalised, and on the other that an imaginary has been liberated that threatens to become reality. In fact, we have almost ceased to have a mental image (intimate and singular) of the world itself, of which increasingly we have more news; that is to say, we are notified more and more of this absence every day, since every day we are more and more separated from its topography, its accidents of terrain, from its physicality on the whole. And this, while it is becoming laminated, flattened, due to the phenomenon of the screen. Be it through television, monitors, photography (it makes no difference whether ‘artistic’ or documentary), and especially through the so-called internet (nowadays the incomparable incarnation of Jarry’s “debraining machine”), the world is permanently presented as a scene, or to put it another way, postponed through live transmission.
As a result, we have a full knowledge of one of the more harmful and effective functions of the current orgy of images. We are continuously becoming more and more distanced from the world, in accordance with a paradox typical of the velocity of information: to raise a screen of transparency that dazzles our sight due to the fascination it produces, the first step of which is undertaken in order to suppress the physical relationship of the eye and matter. In this way, the image projects and prolongs its interference in the world as its dematerialising dynamic grows. And in addition to this, it causes, with almost no visible traumatisms, the separation of the body from the earth, of the mind from the earth, of the shadow from the body. It detaches humans from their relation with the telluric, the ancestral, the inextirpable, and it fixes them to the delirium of gravitation, the false escape route from the vital cycle of death.
But the truth is that the image of which we speak enchants, causes no pain; it is not brutal, not even unpleasant; it is eminently ‘artistic’ and dresses, indistinctly, with the apparel of the surreal, the conceptual, the abstract. It doesn’t take differences into account. It breaks styles. It dissolves categories. It now becomes avant-garde, post-modern or situationist. So great is the knowledge of the different aesthetic (or poetic) forms that have evolved throughout the twentieth century, and so enormous are the technical means at the disposal of the owners of the image, that it is possible to adorn everyday life with a phantom beauty that legitimises, on the level of the senses, the terrible mutation of reality into something fictitious. We do not exaggerate when we say that reality has turned imaginary, which supposes the affirmation, on the other hand, that the imaginary has turned real. And it is not at all imprecise to assert that this is leading to that point where the contradictions would cease in their confrontation. We realise that this is a perversion of what Breton formulated, amongst other reasons because the spectacular image, which seems to fulfil and materialise all dreams and desires, incites to passivity and immobility, not to the transformation of reality; action becomes relegated as the image advances, rendering impossible the union of the image (poetry, the imaginary) and action, and thus the supposed synthesis of contradictions is false; it is more of a dissociation. But it is no less true that on the social level the image dynamically creates a confusion of the antagonistic that increasingly spills as a cascade on the affective apparatus of each one of us, magnetised by its spell, and which consolidates a telematised life that replaces a life lived. This is because now we can already talk of a delirium of simulation, rather than about a represented world, in as much as the image is destined to form human consciousness following a substitutive direction of it.
On the other hand, it is evident that the loss of substance, which reality, as we call it, has undergone, is not entirely due to the domination of the image and the media of communication. This is because the image is but a tool, just another technique used by the ruling class in order to secure a social organisation to suit its needs, which does not contradict the objective fact that the ideological and technical system of images sometimes takes a dynamic of its own, an autonomous development the effects of which, though unexpected, do nothing but strengthen the general process from which that system has been born and which it ultimately serves.
Thus it is the very social reality, without the necessity of the assistance of the image, which has lost its outlines, which is now offering itself as a fantasy, as a lack of meaning, as a fiction where we lose our orientation and find no point of support at which to restructure an orientation and resistance. The real economy is substituted by a virtual one in which flows an immense immaterial wealth that does not exist, but which has immediate and fatal consequences over the lives of millions of people; the substitution of stable work, which allowed the consolidation of links and alliances of solidarity and struggle, by instability and occasional employment which transforms the worker into a ghost or somnambulist going through the (scarce) spaces of work without leaving their shadow in any of them; the confusion which reigns in the media between information and fiction; the simultaneity of the ‘real time’ of the internet which abolishes physical distance, ruining the sense of events and facts of collective life, which therefore becomes a nightmare from which men and women feel disconnected forever; the irruption of the complete day, of an eternal day without the cyclical succession necessary for the human being, where the time of work and time of leisure are mixed, and where the values of day (activity, haste, light, consuming, the masculine) have conquered the night, creating a new and undifferentiated temporality which can only correspond to the needs and desires of the economy... All in all, these phenomena, taken as mere examples from the many that compose the totality of domination, are at the same time the necessary base on which images act, and the result of their conquest of the world. Both phenomena interpenetrate, and their objectives and effects are born from the same technological control and are part of the same totalitarian project. But it should be remembered that even in cases where images of power switch themselves off, they melt, leaving behind them the territory of real experience, and this experience would continue to be falsified by the fantastic organisation of life as it currently is. From this stems a preliminary observation: to reduce the problem to a struggle between images or imaginaries - the evil and alienating ones of the economy, and the liberating and ‘magic’ ones of the unconscious or poetry - would be to limit the question and give way to illusionism.
It may also be true that to relinquish images would have as a consequence the desertification of the individual and even social imaginary, reducing it to a no-man’s land that would lose its last defences to the invasion and definitive conquest by the images of the spectacle. A person who has lost the ability to create images of his or her desire has nothing to oppose to the desires of advertising and consumption. Thus we continue to recognise the significance and possibility of creation, even within the framework of the oppression and alienation of capitalism, as a form of resistance, as a method of cognition, as an emotional adventure; and the expression “Surrealism is the communism of genius” continues to have a total validity in as much as it affirms that poetic inspiration, creativity, aesthetic experience and expression are within the reach of all human beings.
But it is also necessary to acknowledge that liberation of the image, and by the image, can only take place within an individual and not outside him- or herself; at most in a small circle of friends, not in the social body. A certain trust can still be placed in creativity and the image, but only when an adequate battlefield is chosen. This is because, at present, to pretend to confront the totalitarian image of the spectacle by proposing as an alternative our images, means to fall into the greatest and most naïve ineffectiveness. Independently of the poetic temperature reached, the image does not currently preserve any liberating magic power. Magic, a technique of acting upon and manipulating matter, spirit or social groups, is today a monopoly of the spectacle. It is not only a question of the recuperation of images that pose as subversive, utopian or simply poetic, but what is worse, of their banalisation. The uninterrupted diffusion of the public/publicity image, and its almost infinite formal catalogue, has saturated the public eye to the point of domesticating it almost forever, as a public eye, as a spectator of no matter what imagery. Thus surrealist images, as well as others, will inevitably go unnoticed, sliding on the epidermis of a sensibility reduced to an opaque screen.
The medium usually employed for showing ‘our images’ (an exhibition or reviews) does not help to overcome a possibly insuperable problem. Whether we like it or not, these are artistic means and in general they will be contextualised and judged using the code of art interpretation. The consequence is no longer simply capitulation to the ideology of art as a pseudo-religious sphere separate from life, but the fact that art as a means of expression has also been attacked by that evil of our times, which consists of the loss of the specific weight of things; and it has been trivialised, degraded into yet another form of entertainment for the masses, together with television, theme parks and programmed tourism, acquiring an equivalent value. Thus any form of expression which would be similar to, or reminiscent of, that which has been traditionally considered as a ‘work of art’, even if it is not one and doesn’t pretend to be one, is nowadays completely incapable of becoming both a critique of existing reality as well as a desire for its overcoming. In this way, the project of a surrealist exhibition, such as those celebrated in 1938, 1947 or 1965, where the works were put at the service of a revolutionary and exalting theoretical principle, dissolving in a poetic environment which overflowed the limits of an artistic institution; such a project reveals itself as impracticable at the present time. The question is not one of people or quality, but of times: the historical evolution of capitalism and its forms of domination has stripped certain tactics and demonstrations of their meaning. In consequence, before opening yet another exhibition, there should be a reflection and debate, as rigorous as possible, about the means and form which Surrealism can currently use for communicating with other movements and individuals, and with society as a whole. In this sense, the old discussion about the character of the premises in which to hold our exhibitions, whether they should be public institutions or private art galleries, is a superfluous question in the face of a more urgent debate: the system of the exhibition of works has expired, and its death drags behind it, like a sinking Titanic, not only itself, but also any possibility of real communication between people who create and others who do not: because the former can possibly escape the role of artist, but the latter cannot cease to be spectators.
Will this fatality last forever? In the same way that “the question of expression will always be open”(2), for the exhaustion of the forms of poetic and artistic expression cannot be separated from the context of the general decomposition of current society (and it would be hazardous to presuppose, as did the situationists, that a free society emancipated from capitalist exploitation would not know or need any kind of creativity or poetry other than a communitarian one), perhaps the question of communication can also continue to be open; that, among the other types of social dialogue that need be reinvented, it is possible to find a new and full communication, neither religious nor spectacular, between the creator who shows work for pleasure and someone who, also for pleasure, wishes to come into contact with it, understanding on the one hand that it is a message in both directions, and on the other that the roles are interchangeable, for we depart from the basis that the act of creation and the reception of that creation would be alternative aspects of a unified activity of the same group of people. And in the same way that the “poetic expression of our times – regardless of the means used (image, written poetry, music, corporeal expression, cinema) – has no sense, from a radical point of view, as an utopian outline of a future poetic language, because the social order on which such a language would be based does not yet exist” (B. Schwartz), the different means or forms of communication or spreading of surrealist, or any other, activity in the area of creativity have no value other than as outlines of a future. Such a demand, from a radical point of view, obliges us to be even more cautious and to definitively bring closure to certain experiences that, like exhibitions, do not allow us to believe that, beyond their proven current poverty, they could still contribute anything to that future communication of the sensibility that we consider possible. This is because the ‘construction of situations’, in that libertarian society to which we aspire, will exhaust neither the personal desire to create nor the desire to show one’s creation, which are but the desire for a different type of communication, such as the language of gestures, or the gestures of love (3).
In this sense the attempt was sometimes made to justify the validity of a surrealist exhibition by considering it as a modality of a collective game, or as a gift offered to friends or accomplices as a potlatch; precisely because we recognise the experimental validity of such positions, wouldn’t it be the moment to insist on them, and exclusively on them, detaching them from the traditional framework of exhibitions, which parody and adulterate the liberating virtues of the game and gift? Should we not attempt new ways, or even systematise some undeveloped intuitions of Surrealism itself, such as The Objectively Offered Object of Ghérasim Luca (4), a true “utopian outline” both of the “future poetic language” as well as the communication which perhaps will succeed in making that language intelligible and fascinating for others?
It is in the name of that future poetic language, of that question of human expression under all its forms, that we may dare to review surrealist creativity such as it stands at present, in order to judge whether it can still offer an utopian fragment, the seeds of what could be the practice of poetry in a society that would break with slaveries; or if, on the contrary, it has become fossilised and converted itself into a repetitive formula, passive, spectacular, in fact a negation of its very own spirit.
In order to avoid such a danger, a first act of Surrealism would consist of liberating itself from certain identity traits that favour its consumption. It is necessary to undertake a critical process of revaluation of its nature, to distrust certain forms of its own creativity that would continue to make it appear as the owner and master of an imaginary. As a matter of obligation, the historical supercession of the image by Surrealism passes today by erasing, be it even gradually, all traces of a registered brand. In the area of visual art, Surrealism cannot continue to hold onto a ‘representation’ of the unconscious such as we have come to know it, up to the present time, limited not only by its formalising character but also by its sterile and aestheticising repetition. But it also cannot remain dependent upon a whole spectrum of representations of the ‘analogical image’ that follow insuperable and inimitable original models, and are therefore irreproducible. One can only talk of sentimental servitude when observing the attachment to, and credulity of, a ‘modus operandi’ that threatens to turn into a mystification. We should, in the first place, urgently stop and think about the image in current surrealist creativity, in order to reduce its inconsistency - a direct consequence of our own incompetence, of faith in the canon, of irresponsible trust in the creativity of a friend, of a state of being self-absorbed that makes us unaware of what happens outside, which prevents a confrontation with it unless this is in order to disqualify it, most of the time, thoughtlessly. All in all, this is a consequence of a significant decrease in tension that is necessarily accompanied by a decrease in its vital signs.
It is extremely evident that this most recent period in Surrealism’s history is characterised by an ostensible lack of innovation in its visual creativity. We would venture to say that this expression is, at least in the present time, in decline: not only because nothing new has been done, but also because time after time we witness more of the same in each of our publications (Salamandra included, of course) that reproduce too gratuitously, and with a manifest lack of exigency in selection, whole series of personal creations that, in the majority of cases, are insufficient in terms of what surrealist activity should be in this field. What activity is referred to? This is the real dilemma for us today. Our adherence to many of the names linked to the first decades of Surrealism has established guidelines of a direction to follow, not to repeat their imagery but for their ambition, their spirit, and it alone, to continue to stimulate us.
It is true that there is a series of constants that continue to have our trust: dream, alchemy, eroticism, love and the unconscious… But we distrust the current forms employed to represent them, vague and mimetic, dependent on a specialist inertia. (It should be obvious that we do not question the passionate element that accompanies, sets or propels creative activity. Our objection is, so to speak, entirely intellectual; in other words, we propose a critical discussion and elucidation of the concepts and their applications.) Undoubtedly, Jan Svankmajer continues the quest, experimentation, and research that give to the term ‘innovation’ its fraternity with the word ‘discovery’. We also contemplate the ‘hermetic’ period of Martin Stejskal (we have certain doubts regarding his digital works) as a new contribution towards the development of the visual image within Surrealism. But let us not forget that these two names do not cease to be ‘historic’, and we should be grateful for their adherence and presence within the current configuration of the ‘international surrealist community’. Furthermore, at the same time, we regret that they are the last to systematically develop, in the visual area, an exigent, rigorous and innovative exploration. But besides them, who nowadays represents that inherent aspect of Surrealism? It is not our desire to be unjust, but we feel obliged to affirm that, in the reality of present-day Surrealism, nobody does. The most we can say is that we see certain isolated signs that arouse our interest, that provoke our sympathy and adherence, that obviously give us an undeniable pleasure because they coincide with our personal tastes; but from a minimally exigent perspective we do not see them as achieving that renovation of creativity which we demand and desire. But we should make clear, first and foremost, that we do not award ourselves any kind of exclusivist intellectual, moral or critical authority by referring to the aforementioned names, nor do we attempt to elaborate a sort of canon, and we emphasise, to dispel any kind of doubts, that our observation should be contemplated only in the area of thought and creativity, never on a personal level. We only wish to manifest our opinion about what can or cannot be done today within Surrealism in relation to an imagery that identifies itself historically.
Moreover, beyond the concrete works of one person or another, we are preoccupied by an, on the whole, necessary renewal of the surrealist imaginary, not only as we know it, but also and above all in its unknown aspects. And here, we do not deny it, we feel that we are on the edge of an abyss. Though we also do not deny that we are not afraid of falling face down into its depths. All in all, it seems to us completely pertinent and insuperable – the crossing of a desert in which the very survival of surrealist imagination would be put at stake.
We would like to recall that the experience of the unconscious is the experience of Surrealism. Surrealism’s unconditional submission to the sources of the below has had as a consequence an extraordinary fertilisation of the poetic field. It could be said that Surrealism has generated an ontology of the poetic image through such an unconditional accord with the psychic life. A direct ontology, to use Gaston Bachelard’s expression, with which it strives to define the dynamics of “the poetic image…not subject to an inner thrust. It is not an echo of the past. On the contrary…Because of its novelty and its action, the poetic image has an entity and dynamism of its own...In this reverberation, the poetic will have a sonority of being. The poet speaks on the threshold of being.” (The Poetics of Space) In this way, the poet remains fixed in the pain of birth that, and it cannot be otherwise, is the result of a tearing, an event (an act of love) that has achieved an erasure of memory. And thus the poet is exposed to the “blaze of a being in imagination”, the poetic act that is not constitutive, for it is not conceptual but an experience of the unknown.
It is the unknown that prompts us to take consciousness of the impossibility of an historical continuity of the ‘surrealist form’, at least in the form expressed according to the current clichéd representation of instances that inspire it, be they of the oneiric, organic, alchemical... Because it is as senseless to attempt to fix the poetic image as it is to attempt to fix the spirit of Surrealism. It is precisely the former’s capacity to mutate that is inseparable from the indocility of the latter. This indocility is what matters to us, not our adaptation to a surrealist canon. What is important for us is the inherent quality of Surrealism to inaugurate, to anticipate, or in other words, to re-announce (reinvent love, reinvent poetry, reinvent freedom). Without these demands Surrealism declines, it stops being an adventure, loses its moral and intellectual authority, exhausts its expressions, and its vitality is diluted.
At the same time, we do not forget that when speaking of the poetic image we are not only talking about the ‘surrealist poetic image’. In fact, we are preoccupied in talking about the poetic image from the perspective of Surrealism, a noun and not an adjective (some of us think more and more that Surrealism is not surrealist). In this way, we are in tune with, or share fully or partially, other creativities that, by definition, are distant from being ‘surrealist’, because their poetic potential corresponds to our more consequential interior exigency, and because they are expressions of “man, apprehended in his actuality.” (G. Bachelard) (5)
It is here that the surrealists are put to the test. It is here that theoretical discourse and emotional heritage fail if they are not accompanied by an ontological stripping that would interrupt or break the acquired knowledge and erudite inertia. Over the edges! Fundamentally, these edges insinuate the path that leads away from culture and communicates with man, a path untimely ploughed in the open, there where the tempests join and the lights celebrate their betrothal with the dispossessed being. This clamour is shared by the poetic image in order to burn and be burned. Through this accident it renews “a becoming of expression, and a becoming of our being. Here expression creates being.” (Bachelard)
Considered in this way, the poetic image is reaffirmed in an unconditional freedom and operates as a resistance against the miserabilist hordes that cast a pall over the sensible world. But we repeat that, due to its own vulnerability and corruptibility, it cannot fulfil a subversive function if it is on a level consubstantial neither to the individual being, nor to the social being. This does not exclude, rather to the contrary, thinking about it with the extreme rigour with which the myth of revolution should be thought, and for the same reasons, displaying a visionary pessimism from which to rearm freedom in its concrete and immediate practice, in its everyday development, a practice inevitable and finally irreducible to an intellectual discourse, to a political programme or an ideological abstraction. As can be seen, under no circumstances do we relinquish imagination. Quite the opposite. We are only trying to redefine its objectives and its dialectical relationship with a reality that seems to have gone insane, but continues to be the last argument of Power, in as much as, virtual or not, it is presented as the natural (or anti-natural) order of things, which demands submission and blind obedience to its indisputable rule. However, nowadays ‘Reality’ negates what is real, that is to say, the direct experience and without mediation of immediate and sensible life; therefore, imagination acquires another meaning and assumes a new role, because now it must realise itself materially; it must construct itself to its own satisfaction or realization, extracting itself from the concrete, but intervening necessarily therein. Perhaps it is no longer the moment for creating images ‘to be seen’, but to materialise the utopian dream, satisfying it in concrete life and in a collective way (6). In this sense, we dare to speak of poetic materialism, as the imaginary can no longer be separated from reality, but it is founded there (“we have an insatiable hunger for reality”, in the words of Luca and Trost). In short, what we denominate poetic materialism would be an imaginative current that transforms the reality of being, a temperamental flow that remodels the forms of reality that it wants to transform; it would be resolved in the field of immediate action, letting itself be accompanied by the pleasure principle. Originality also is not our strong point: we are thinking about a ‘metamorphic actionism’ in the sensible (the city, nature...) that is certainly already happening at the heart of Surrealism (be it the atopoi, the games of dérive, or the Disturbing Object...) and that only awaits a greater systematisation, a greater awareness of its own self so that these experimental activities, undertaken by a community of men and women attached to the experience of everyday life in terms of exception, would be able to outline a ‘poetics of everyday life’ as indispensable as a critique of it. These actions, founded in their exalting and deliberately useless character, decidedly beautifying and self-serving, should mingle themselves in the essential current of time, remaining exposed to the squalls of incomprehension and overloading or destroying themselves, indistinctly, with the energy of affectivity, negative or positive. Only in this way will these actions oppose to the present, to the positivisation of the useful, to the mechanisms of the cultural, that which, even less so, does not contradict a subversive intention from which we do not withdraw, but which we prefer to consider solely as a matter of hypothesis, conceding, however, to its convulsive power.
It should remain clear that we do not intend to establish a programme or launch a manifesto: the very modesty of our observations would disqualify such a pretension. On the other hand, we will not be the only ones to mention these, or other actions undertaken, at this or other moments, by the different surrealist groups. And it is clear that such a ‘poetic materialism’ would not be exhausted by those practices, if it wants to respond to the threat that currently grips the imagination: not to contribute to the process of the phantasmagorisation of the world, to find a formula that would allow it to become real without realising it as spectacle.
1. In a phenomenon analogous to the inflation of information and the discourses that strangle real, meaning-bearing dialogue, there is also an inflation of images, so that none of them can transgress anything. On the other hand, power above all strives to make the imagination react to the represented in the same way as a mirror, in that the image would lead us into a closed system of references, and that we would follow a delimited path, no matter how dark or delirious.
2. We permit ourselves to quote from Barthelemy Schwartz’s answer to this enquiry.
3. The observation of Vincent Bounoure continues to be valid: the problem of “human expression in all its forms (...) becomes augmented by another, that of human communication in all its forms” (“Panorama” in La civilisation surréaliste, 1976, p110). A problem which can be found in this civilisation, and also in others, is that critical thought cannot avoid this debate by resorting to the easy pretext that the “realisation of art” in everyday life would suppress any other creative preoccupations, a theoretical hypothesis valid as a hypothesis and not as a paradoxical and newly ideological dogma.
4. It is rather embarrassing that it has to be a mystificator such as Hakim Bey who, in his book Immediatism, attempts to give an answer to the double dilemma of creativity and the separation between the individual who creates and the rest of the community. We are indifferent to the fact that Hakim Bey exploits certain reflections common or near to Surrealism, such as the feast, the game or the gift, and does so in terms that suspiciously recall Bataille, Caillois, Luca or Bounoure. On the other hand, we are far more preoccupied with the incapacity, or at least apathy, of surrealists to reach practical conclusions, of a manifest interest, from their current investigations of the game or gift, but that are not expressed convincingly in the form of practical propositions which, when the moment comes to show work or not, would allow us to overcome the ritual repetition of exhibitions. It would be unfair to ignore experiences such as “The Game of Slight Disturbances” of the Group in Leeds, although it would probably enter a different category, as it included works created in a premeditated way for an intervention into the public space within a city. We know that there are doubtlessly many more examples; it is only a question of following them. As far as our activities are concerned, we opted many years ago to show our work collectively, only and exclusively within the framework of talks or debate, and always as a secondary complement, as a practical example of that poetic activity of resistance of which we speak, thus giving (we hope) a unifying correspondence between theoretical and critical discourse and “the works”. By giving talks in spaces that are above all “political” (anarchist, squatter), and by giving far more importance to theoretical discourse than to the works (which therefore appeared in an everyday and desacralising light), certain results were reached vis-à-vis non-spectacular communication. However, we have no authority to recommend this method to anyone; a method, no doubt limited and insufficient, which we distrust as much as any other, and to which we are vigilant so as to detect its possible exhaustion.
5. There are, in fact, poetic constructions the advent of which do not have to be caused solely by a “vision” or a “fantasy”, or that as a last resort require a mise-en-scène in which rational mechanisms of consciousness intervene first and foremost. In other words, it is not sufficient to translate certain already-seen images in accord with the dictate of thought. They require elaboration and finalising, as a consequence of a rationalised operation of consciousness. A poetic image can be constructed from a desire to conceptualise an intuition or a vision without thus contradicting, diminishing or eliminating possible symbolic, analogic and oneiric contents, and even less so would it fail to have a liberating dimension. As we know all too well, the critique of reason is not irrational, and Surrealism is even less irrational. We therefore do not discriminate against creative expressions that reconcile imagination and thought, concept and intuition, in the confidence that they are experiences of the everyday that crystallise in their own singularity. We do not discriminate against both rational and non-rational processes that lead to the construction or creation of the poetic image. It occurs to us that a passional lucidity is the state of consciousness that defines our relationship to the phenomenon of creativity, because it liberates a double energetic movement that contains, at the same time, those of intelligence and those of the heart, perfectly linked to the current of imagination.
6. “It is not a question of allowing to see, but of allowing to live”, said Yves Bonnefoy in 1947. And this is even more true today!
(Published in Salamandra #11-12, 2001-2002)