Écrire, c'est tenir. « The Information Man » n° 2 (version longue)

Abstract : This article consists in two parts. The first describes briefly the writing by artists published by Éditions Incertain Sens, a French publishing house specializing in artist’s books. Although the art of the twentieth century might seem more and more abstract, elitist and remote from everyday affairs, artists in various ways try to bring it close to the life. These efforts are worthy of our attention because they are often the expression of the concept of art being a guardian of life: art as an existential discipline presented in the form of literature, and thus the books. The next part of the article is devoted to the six artists: Laurent Marissal, Bruno Di Rosa, Lefevre Jean Claude, Éric Watier, Hubert Renard, Pascal Le Coq. The title of each section is a quote taken from various statements. “The play that often saves our lives. I just finished Pinxit III” (Laurent Marissal, e-mail). “With this daily practice, I know I exist”(Bruno Di Rosa, in conversation). “Constant dithering what preoccupies us, on which – perhaps – depends a person” (Lefevre Jean Claude, in one of his texts). “Write it yourself” (Ben Kinmont, an American artist and the founder of the Antinomian Press, in the part on Éric Watier). “That is what we ask ourselves in childhood when we write the name that we are told is ours” (James Joyce’s Ulysses, in a part on Hubert Renard). “Various statements about the double meaning” (Sigmund Freud, fragment on Pascal Le Coq). The conclusions of this first part of the article emphasize the relationship between writing practices and of artistes and the conviction (closer to pragmatism then structuralism, that dominated from the 1960’s to the 1980’s) that linguistic practices are directly connected with daily operations and activities; the goal of this article is to analyze the function of language, which links artistic practices. The second part of the article refers to text that Ed Ruscha wrote in 1971. Il was entitled Information Man. He highlighted the presence of books in everyday life, and therefore also their potential to adapting in avant-garde project of reconciliation of art and life. In 1962, Ruscha published at his own expense Twentysix Gasoline Stations, one of the first artists’ books that started this collective, avant-garde project. The subject of the Information Man is omniscient author who – in the fashion of both an account and a police agent – describes what happened to the copies of the book. Only thirty-two copies were used for practical purposes; thirteen of them served for pressing sheets of paper or other small items. Seven served as a float for files, mosquitoes and other small insects, and two for the purpose of self-defence. Ten copies helped to support heavy doors and because they were packaged of ten, one package was used to block the door, etc. Wonderful intuition: the book so much caught up in daily life that it could sometimes be used not only for reading. But the reality goes beyond Ruscha’s fiction, as evidenced by numerous quotations from the diaries by Victor Klemerer, which are included in the second part of the article and can e considered as contribution to a hypothetical text entitled Information Man n° 2, “Buying and borrowing all kinds of books, magazines and newspapers was in fact forbidden to a wearer of the yellow star. / What one secretly kept at home, was a source of danger and had to be concealed under cabinets and carpets, in ovens and cornices or kept with coal as a material for kindling.” Survivor of the destruction of Dresden, Klemperer so ends LTI. Notebook by philologist: “I wanted to separate the balancing rod from the rest and only sketch still holding hands. This is how this book was written.” Write to follow.
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Leszek Brogowski. Écrire, c'est tenir. « The Information Man » n° 2 (version longue). Dyskurs : Pismo Naukowo-Artystyczne ASP we Wrocławiu, Akademia Sztuk Pięknych im. Eugeniusza Gepperta we Wrocławiu, 2015, pp.70-91. ⟨hal-01688661⟩

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