In the word's body
"It's because man has words that he knows things. The number of things he knows is the number of things he can name." Speaking about the known world, psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan reveals the possibilities of the unknown, hidden, inarticulate world - the world of things to be conquered with words to be invented. Les mots en liberté futuristes (Futurists Words in Freedom) by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti describe this infinity to be mapped. Jacques Lacan projects himself into it: "Poetry is the creation of a subject assuming a new order of symbolic relationship to the world." The artists featured in 'Le mot et la chose' (The Word and the Thing) change the known order by shifting the arrangements between the symbolic and the real, between the articulated and the impossible, between what is written and what "never stops not being written".
Gil Joseph Wolman uses the breath - and therefore the body - of the viewer to punctuate his pause-less texts. In eruptions of scribbles, Cy Twombly marks the rearrangement of a place (the property of his friend Jasper Johns in Saint Martin). Angelo Rognoni constructs experiences from leaping to fainting. Bernard Heidsieck invents a machine à mots (word machine) where is erected a space of saying speech. Brion Gysin prints rhythms excited by swarming tingling. Isidore Isou sketches the outline of an enigma. They all come together in a poetic moment to make the Word speak thanks to the Thing. Poetry is immortal and alive. Francis Picabia assures to Guillaume Apollinaire: "You will not die entirely." Poetry offers the power to reinvent the thing by the word's alchemy. This creation makes waves as it redraws the boundaries of the known world, thus entering into dreams, where, between encryption and riddles, the word becomes the thing.
1. Jacques Lacan, "Les Psychoses" (The Psychoses), Seminar 1955-1956, Editions du Seuil, 1981.