Few Have Explored This Bewildering Territory
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 07-13-11
The Lost Jockey, 1948, Private collection, Gouache on paper
Image Source

"The privileged realm located in the boundary-zone between the three fields of power, religion and semiotics...Few people have explored this bewildering territory (by definition a no-man’s land of imagination) with the same energy as René Magritte, the bourgeois surrealist dressed in business suit and bowler hat, the revolutionary explorer who wove together into one strand the activities of showing and saying, geometry and linguistics, painter and poet. In their capacity as full signs, all his works are carefully named, some extremely frightening, the best unbreakably self-referential. The content is everywhere visibly seen and silently heard, the titles by his own admission 'chosen in such a way as to prevent [the] pictures being put into some familiar context suggested by the automatic flow of thought in order to avoid uneasiness'." The titles are meant as an extra protection to counter any attempt to reduce poetry to a pointless game, [because] the use of speech for ordinary purposes of life imposes a limited meaning on words designating objects. It would seem that everyday language sets imaginary boundaries to the imagination. But it is possible to create new relationships between words and objects and to bring out certain features of language and of objects that are commonly overlooked in the everyday process of living. Magritte was painfully aware that our everyday life is a universe of readymade experiences." Gunnar Olsson, Abysmal: A Critique of Cartographical Reason, p. 142

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