By Sylvère Lotringer
People who are mad like Antonin Artaud, are they only as mad as he used to be? insanity, just like the plague, is contagious, and everybody, from his psychiatrists to his disciples, family members, and critics, each person who will get just about Artaud, turns out to take part in his delirium. Sylvère Lotringer explores a variety of embodiments of this shared delirium via what Artaud known as “mental dramas”—a sequence of confrontations together with his witnesses or “persecutors” the place we discover the uncooked delirium at paintings, even in Lotringer himself. Mad Like Artaud doesn't intend so as to add yet one more layer of statement to the sour controversies which have been surrounding the cursed poet’s paintings considering that his dying in 1948, nor does it take facets one of the diverse camps who're nonetheless haggling over his corpse. This ebook speaks of the location the place “madness” itself is simmering.
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Extra info for Mad Like Artaud (Univocal)
He doubted 49 everything: his intelligence, his sense of purpose and his mission on Earth. “I am disgusted with living, Mr. ” (letter from January 5, 1945). To Latrémolière these were encouraging signs indicating that the “mental reconstruction” of the patient was engaged. Doctors felt justified in considering that from this point forward, the patient’s consciousness would be capable of correcting its own disturbances and regaining its stability. The first series of electroshocks was administered in July 1943.
Jacques Latrémolière (who plays the main role here) was provincial in comparison to Ferdière himself, who rubbed shoulders with the Surrealists while studying medicine in Paris was a very close friend of Robert Desnos, and was considered 38 a free thinker. Latrémolière was very pious and married young; he chose to remain in the region and train as a general practitioner to feed his rapidly growing family. Like Artaud, he was inclined to question the future of humanity in apocalyptic terms, and he was still just as preoccupied with God when I met him in 1983 as he was when he met Artaud for the first time in 1943.
One of his first creations, dating from January 1945, Being and Its Fetuses, presented a prolific laboratory of the Flesh. This large drawing dramatized a monstrous outpouring of organs, fetuses, virgins, bones, viscera, hard nipples, forming a grotesque body spread out exoscopically around two intertwined couples copulating flat on their backs. Above them were rows of pictograms arranged like a sun, and enticing female bodies in various stages of decomposition. The first drawing was reminiscent of a graffiti piece.