Homme, Drap, Décodage, Guano. Judit Reigl, Galerie Rencontres, Paris 1973

About Homme, Drap, Décodage, Guano

Exclusively abstract painting. For 13 years. A kind of mass writing on a white background…

From February 1966, this same writing transformed itself independently of my will, or even against it, into a more and more anthropomorphic figure, a human torso.

At first imperceptibly, then more and more consciously after 1970, I tried to intervene, to underline the emerging aspect of these erect bodies.

In May 1972, I exhibited about twenty of these paintings (1966-1972), entitled Homme (Man), at the Galerie Rencontres. I thought at that time I had succeeded in making an analysis of my approach over the past six years. I believed I could draw two conclusions relevant for the continuation of my work:

  1. Push, propel this man until he is completely free, until he flies away

  2. Make this painting more readable, more accessible

During the autumn of 1972, all was belied by what actually happened. I painted bad canvases for four months, unable to finish a single one. I had to stop. My analysis was not able to penetrate my subconscious, whose fundamental business is to bypass the orders coming from my mind.

The initial breakthrough became a wall: a breakthrough in 1966-1970, stemming from the uprising of the subconscious, so long as it was supported by "the contribution of low values" (G. Bataille), so long as I was one of those who stored up "this eruptive force" and "are necessarily situated below" (G. Bataille). A wall gradually blocking the opening (1971-72) as I tried to control this revolt, go beyond the contradictions and reach the goal of liberation: my subconscious had abandoned me. I could no longer follow this man taking off…an Icarian escape. Was this a disguised search for a superman? Super-ego?

Simultaneously, my second decision provoked a clash, even harsher, with the "world of rational utility, which cannot be abolished" (G. Bataille). Another wall! Because, if we can take the first – the Icarian escape – as mere individual fantasy, the second prevents entry into a real world, a land that concerns us all, where we are registered in the social and political.

Homme, Drap, Décodage, Guano. From the catalogue of the exhibition Judit Reigl, Galerie Rencontres, Paris 1973