Paul Emile Borduas and the manifesto "Total refusal"

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PostPosted: Sun 3 Feb - 07:52 (2008)    Post subject: Paul Emile Borduas and the manifesto "Total refusal" Reply with quote

Night of the Museum of contemporary art of Montréal
February – Exhibition “Give a way to the magic !”
I discovered the night-in December with a beautiful and surprising performance, and I thus looked forward to discovering what was going to be us proposed in this February!
I am especially interested in the musical performances, and the announcement of a group " moog rock electro trash " made me hesitate … Furthermore, I arrived too late (one hour in advance all the same) and there was not a place anymore in the concert hall.
Anyway, I am there, I stay there. We can look at the concert from the big hall and from the showrooms on huge screens, and it will be the occasion to visit the exhibitions. The museum is a place where meet  the young very trendy students, in the very well-kept look.
Many stay in the hall to be discussed or to wait in the endless line to have a cocktail in the bar and where barmen makes the show by juggling with shakers.

I go up to the showrooms by waiting for the broadcasting of the concert on screen, the program speaks about sound images and an exhibition entitled " Give a way to the magic". It is an exhibition about the works of Paul Emile Borduas, painter, sculptor and professor at the school of art in Montreal. In the 40s! 
This Quebec artist wrote in 1948 a manifesto "Refus total" (Total refusal) crying out the freedom of a spontaneous creation. In this time, Quebec was under the conservative regime of Maurice Duplessis and a Church which still imposed an established order and one morale, slowing down the freedom of expression.
The exhibition touched me a lot. There were the works of several artists, abstract for the great majority. The material, the colours, the forms, gave a pleasure to look at them, evoking at once peaceful and energising feelings, revealing can be simply the soul of the artist when he made it. Little as these musics, without melodies but which transport us freely towards our own perception of what we see or hears.
I discovered and appreciated a little more the abstract art through what was said to us about Paul Emile Borduas and about his manifesto which naturally called me.
Beyond a social or politic contesting ,Borduas repeated that we cannot define and limit the art and the creation. It is alive as the one who creates it, spontaneous, indefinable and imperceptible.
The emergence of these artists said "automatistes " opening new perspectives was worth to them not being able to expose during several years and to paint " in Ripolin " due to the lack of money. But they allowed, I think, to open roads of discoveries and artistic freedom of expression.
A word about "Duchess Says", this group " moog rock ", punk who was on stage. I could see only a part of the show, screens being connected only in the middle of the performance. I retained only shouts almost orgasmiques of the singer, rhythmic one repetitive and deafening... it was necessary can be  being in the room to live their music with them and see the show in its entirety.
Here, a link with some videos and articles about Borduas and his manifesto
Some extracts :
On Aug. 9, 1948, a handsome young group of artists and intellectuals gathered at a Montreal bookstore to launch an anti-religious and anti-establishment manifesto. Le Refus global (Total Refusal) was signed by 16 artists including such giants as Jean-Paul Riopelle and Paul-Emile Borduas. It would become one of the most important and controversial artistic and social documents in modern Quebec society.
Translated from the french link :
Following the publication of Total Refusal, newspapers seize the affair. Some days later, Paul-Émile Borduas is dismissed by the School of the piece of furniture for " led and incompatible papers with the post of a professor in an institution of education of the province of Quebec ". In 1953, he exiles itself in New York. Two years later, Borduas turns(shoots) to Paris, where he will finish his days in 1960 at the age of 54.
" Break definitively with all the customs of the society, dissociate oneself from its utilitarian spirit. Refusal to be deliberately below our psychic and physical possibilities. Refusal to close eyes on the vices, the cheatings committed under the cover of the knowledge, of the returned service, of the due gratitude. "
Extracts from total Refusal.
Inspired from surrealism, the movement automatiste tries to give way to all the spontaneity of the creation. It is about an exploration of the internal, essentially intuitive world. A word without geometrical forms, carefree shapeless world of rational beauty. " The consequence is more important than the purpose ", explains Borduas to assert that the work is not the fruit of an intention, no more than it is the realization of a preconceived thought.
This last quotation of Borduas recall me what says Julien Doré in the interview Playboy: " be an artist without work " and of his indifference for the glory. I always thought that Julien Doré above all wanted to pass on something artistically alive and personal through his performances which are often as much visual as sound, and not end in a settled celebrity which would make die this emergent main part in what he proposes. Isn’t  there the same intuition, the same ways to be opened, still and always ?
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PostPosted: Sun 3 Feb - 07:52 (2008)    Post subject: Publicité

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