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Hun Kyu Kim, Regular, ordinary artist residency (Summer Night)

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Magazine Special

Jean-Luc Nancy

Après les avant-gardes

Il me semble que le mot « avant-garde » a toujours été pour moi une espèce de souvenir. J’ai dû l’entendre autour de 1960, alors que le surréalisme ne se portait déjà plus très bien. Presque en même temps je découvrais Bataille et Artaud, que n’accompagnait aucune étiquette d’avant-garde. Mais c’est l’ensemble du climat de pensée qui se modifiait de manière profonde dans les après-coups de la guerre.

Les avant-gardes – ou du moins ce nom : il ne s’agit que de son usage – ont eu d’emblée pour moi un goût de passé. D’arrière-garde, en somme. Je ne plaisante pas : je pense que le soupçon porté sur la nature militaire de la métaphore était déjà présent dans le contexte où je découvrais le mot. Pourquoi fallait-il que l’art opère comme une armée ? Il y avait un doute. Ce n’était pas tant l’idée de la lutte ou du combat qui était préoccupante...

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»Ineluctable modality of the visible: at least that if no more, thought through my eyes. Signatures of all things I am here to read, seaspawn and seawrack, the nearing tide, that rusty boot. Snotgreen, bluesilver, rust: coloured signs. Limits of the diaphane. But he adds: in bodies. Then he was aware of them bodies before of them coloured. How? By knocking his sconce against them, sure. Go easy. Bald he was and a millionaire, MAESTRO DI COLOR CHE SANNO. Limit of the diaphane in. Why in? Diaphane, adiaphane. If you can put your five fingers through it it is a gate, if not a door. Shut your eyes and see.


Rhythm begins, you see. I hear. Acatalectic tetrameter of iambs marching. No, agallop: DELINE THE MARE.


Open your eyes now. I will. One moment. Has all vanished since? If I open and am for ever in the black adiaphane. BASTA! I will see if I can see.


See now. There all the time without you: and ever shall be, world without end.«


James Joyce

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