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  09:47:00 am, by   , 522 words  
Categories: Art, Collage


Just read some pages from a book on collage (Living into art). What I like is that these artists meet in a common place, work and discuss together. But where I disagree is when it comes to the meaning. Roughly said, I make a difference between private meaning – what the collage means to me, what I discover through it etc. and a general meaning – what everybody can see or discover in the work. In this book, the author handles the meaning i-king-like: it is as if the all-knowing unconscious – generally well hidden from our conscious mind – somehow leaks through the collage, giving us a stream of information so that we can better understand ourselves, our lives etc. Here it is named “unconscious thinking”. But when I look at those collages, I only see symbolist works, a rebus that I cannot really understand: a finger pointing at a tombstone in the sky with a mourning woman: If I don’t know the intentions or the life of the artist, I am as lost as in front of a contemporary art work. But mostly those symbols are quite common, like in a dream book (as in Freud’s for ex.).
For my collaging is playing with pictures. It is not a means of knowing me. I like to improvise, the spirit being void as in traditional Chinese or Japanese drawing in order to let things happen. The interpretation comes afterwards. And the latter is done with words. In my eyes, this writing or telling is a sort of story writing. The collage itself is only a canvas of associated elements, a mosaïque offering plenty of interpretation possibilities. It is not a message from another world. It is art, which means inspiration, innovation, form, color etc. together with possible interpretations or “stories”.
Here an example. In these days I am waiting for the decision on a probable kidney operation. As one can understand, this is no.1 of my preoccupations. Some of my collages are somehow linked to this fact, but others not. Hey, my dear unconscious, what are you doing? You should stick to the most important issue, not be playing around with pictures! You behave like a child! Please be serious! Give me messages! Anyway, what should I do with them? They won’t change what is.

To make it short: collage is playing with art. It’s easy to learn and the results are often stunning, because this technique induces surprising associations if we can get rid of the symbolist crap inherited from painting, and work without preconceived ideas. The neurobiologists tell us how the brain works: there is no author-postman inside who throws his messages in the collage-box, where we have just to pick them out and understand them. No, meaning is a construction. Free to me to link it to my own experience, but this will be the work of the onlooker. And when I am finishing a collage, I become an onlooker, I start looking for a meaning – to quote Robert A. Burton: less there is an obvious meaning, the more we try to get one. I guess that that’s the way collage works.


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Blog on art, centered on collage. It is meant as a sort of logbook of my creative work.


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