'' The child | A history of performance art on the Riviera from 1951 until now

The child

Jean Mas
Jean Mas
Bibliographical sources: 
cité in Jean Mas, trente ans de Performas, Alain Amiel, 2008

Jean Mas | Les trois petits cochons / Formule de l'enfant / Exorcisme, 1995

Musée d'Art moderne et d'art contemporain (MAMAC) de Nice
Synopsis / Description: 

Capture vidéo de la performance de Jean Mas à la Faculté des Lettres, Arts et Sciences Humaines de Nice.
Extrait du film "Un 'Peu' de Jean Mas".

Again, it is for the artist to close ...
... Does this allow me to talk about the child?

I wanted to be here tonight in the required return to Freud.
Let me refer to the "tripe-seller of genius" (Lacan).
It would be futile to apply psychoanalysis to art, but showing the relationship, the distinction where apparently there is a severance, an emptiness ... Establishing links between the conscious and the unconscious, the pathological and the nonpathological (if not the normal), the individual- species, the child - adult, and lastly between different cultural productions and representation, and the affect, base of our artistic query.
There is no application of any method not involved in the art world since the method is one. It is only the repetition of the same, of the same core. This is what, in the spirit of Freud, allows to consider psychoanalysis as a science of investigation without reducing it to the purely clinical aspect to which it seems to be confined. Freud compares the fascination proceding from an artwork to the repetition based on the father that every child should exert. In a period of fascination in which the artwork (mediator, compromise) is a model succeed the moment of "murder", of rejection.
"The psychoanalyst interpreter works on Eros’ service, solving enigmas originating from mental productions or others (art works) since they are compromises. It is re-establishing contact. "

Without doubt there is the only point where the deception that communication is finds a plausible (possible) speculation between a work of art and its understanding.
This is what Freud says: "Art frees the artist from his fantasies," artistic creation" avoids neurosis and is a substitute for psychoanalysis. However, it must be said that the cure is played without being understood "(Kofman)? The vulture in the folds of of St. Anne’s dress...

What Freud says again is that saying the name is not understanding the work, find the author’s name, his father the creator, is being in a theological conception of art ( the expert), a consideration that Freud intends to expose.
From the statue of Moses whose author is known to all, we are still to understand why it moves us, what were the intentions of the artist in the carving.
only the work of art can tell us these intentions, by its own writing, by its formal structure, independently from the sort of critics Michelangelo would emit. His true intentions are not conscious.
The theological conception admits a conscious subject, free, father of his works. Here Freud deconstructs the metaphysical conception of the subject. It's not him who speaks, it’s the text (without reducing the text to its literality).
Of course, Freud leaves to the connoisseurs of art the specificity of art, that is to say the values, shapes and techniques in what makes the history of art.

The text scrolls.
Next, slowly unwrap a package, wield a large wooden mallet.
Say "art but ... ", of Freud, the condition.
Speak about the Army, the substance, the form.

Action: destroy the radio with the mallet.
Jean Mas gets up, takes a club and smashes his radio cassette player yelling wild cries. He retrieves the tape, then, unperturbed:

In this process, the child can only be in the artist’s tracks.
Linking affect to representation is indeed unique to human development, without which, without this link, anguish takes place. Anxiety, lest a meaning were bound to an affect. Providing such a bound is the very task of the analytic cure.
The artist, great man and substitute hero and killer of the Father, acknowledges the superiority of artists in their being able to know man while avoiding the working detour the scientist must operate.
In this infancy of art, Freud tells us that the artwork is intermediate between dream and archaic writing. Just like a dream, the piece of art does not speak and its ultimate goal is not communication. Just like the dream of which it is here the paradigm. Art is governed by processes endowed with their own expressiveness generating a specific text that is not the translation of a prior text .

In dream, as in art, there is only one text disclosing its meaning from its deformation. The true meaning, the latent content is only given in the manifest content. The content does not separate from the form, there is no metalanguage. The text of art as well as that of dreams tend more towards a figuration than towards a representation referred to a presence and to one or more external signifiers (display of Bettina Rheims’ photographic work , the "Animal" Series, Beaubourg Notre Dame des Fleurs, Gallery, Vence).

I propose to consider the child globally on the figural model, that is to say art.
That is to say that the child, art himself, can not make art because he is himself art, not distinct between form and content.
This is the polymorphous perverse!

Representation, the representative mode allows him to slip into the adult world, that is to say that of a good measure, a good distance. Preparing a child to confront, to slip into adult life, is giving him that sense (nothing to do with Confucius’ Middle Way).

There is the formula of the child at birth: 1 on infinity
infinity on 1, it is God’s formula: infinity on 1.

It is God the Divine (the said vain). This is not debatable. This is the mathematical representation of God.
The child is necessarily born divine, son of God and of his incarnation hence (A). The Messiah, son of God could only be conceived by the Immaculate Conception, the Virgin, the Holy Spirit, that is to say, the son of God (God agent).
Theodicy is defending the idea of God, that is to say the One. Without the idea of God, every thought would be impossible (the big Other, the Phallus).
The zero comes after but let's leave that aside for a moment. We willtake the matter up.
Let’s rather see where our child evolves:
It is the opposite of God, it is the monad, it is the Ego in its concrete fullness, the Ego reported to a "sphere of belonging", to the sphere of its possessions. But I, monad, find in the sphere that belongs to me, the mark of something that is not mine, that is alien to me; I can therefore constitute an objective nature to which both belong the other and myself.
The body actualizes the exigency of the Being, to be immediately present (when we do not have that, I can say that we are drifting into schizophrenia).
As we know, the Ego is not the master.
Let’s leave aside this other story with the big Other and let’s take up the game of good distances.
First unfigured measure: the penis, castration giving the measure of the proper distance; having it- not having it, it is adorned (parted from it) that the little girl is wearing jewellery, the woman veils her nudity because (as it is noted by Freud), she has nothing to hide (Freud recalls that it was she who invented weaving).

The right distance in contemporary art can be found in the sayings of Sturtevant, Kofman, Catherine Clément, and of course Lacan.
The singularity of the model generates the singularity of the replica according to Wittgenstein.The contradiction between the two is "contradictory" but not contrary.
Good measure, a safe distance, we must here consider the point of view (Deleuze).
The point of view is the failing center’s substitute, it is in every area of variation, a power to put cases in order, the condition of the appearance of the real.
The point of view is to be reflected upon with Leibniz. To sum it up: first good measure, then the right distance and then if possible for an adult, the point of view.
Here's my exorcism sequence for you to test your point of view ... To perform satisfying exorcism, in principle , it should be done at midnight ....

Action: Jean Mas plays the "exorcism" sequence

My work is haunted, I can not stand it anymore. So far, I am the only artist to perform exorcisms of artworks, by the way, it deserves to be known, it is a new niche.
Freud offers several times the metaphor of a puzzle game, about the reconstruction of the true story,that has been lived and lost. Delirium owes its convincing power to the element of historical truth that it inserts in the place of the rejected reality.
From construction to construction, from version to version, from interpretation to interpretation without reaching, of course, an unexisting original text, analysis is necessarily endless. The quitting can be justified by the acquired possibility, due to the proposed constructions, to add different pieces together to form a meaningful whole and fill the space.

Freud writes: "After many attempts, we know with certainty at the end which piece belongs to the empty hole." He adds that this is likely, that the likelihood is not always true, that the real is not likely. We are here in the point of view that I mentioned earlier. The conclusions drawn from the hypothesis that Moses was an Egyptian were only supported by mental probabilities. Thus, any analytical interpretation of a work of art is a "psychoanalytic novel" or even a delirium. But this method , according to Freud, prevails, with its qualities of internal consistency, on any other one, especially that of the aestheticians...
Fantasy, as an afterthought story allows art to function as a specific memory for the reconstruction of the author’s fantasies.
Jean Mas cites some of his works: shit crackers, bubble, flies cages as infantile mental memory substitute (Mas cites Boltanski).
Suppose someone knows perfectly his history, the artwork is neither possible nor necessary, automatons do not do art (as it actualizes their freedom).
The work of art, primal inscription, is always already a substitute, a SYMBOLIC SUBSTITUTE.
According to Freud, every representation is the substitute of a primal absence of sense or is always, from substitute to substitute, without ever reaching a primal signified, only fantasized by desire.
In the analysis of Leonardo Da Vinci’s childhood memory , Freud notices that " Mona Lisa’s smile (mother) is an invention of art. "
The piece of art carries within itself the traces of the past, they are nowhere else. The artwork does not translate result memory by its distortion.
The artist, through unconscious mental processes, through affects and their transformation in the combinatorial representations, tries to repeat what the child does in his games, before reason and judgment come to impose their constraints.
Art is a substitute for the infantile game.
With puns, wit, or through art, men can recover what was lost by cultural progress: good humour, Freud tells us.
This euphoria is nothing but the mood of an age, that of our childhood when we were incapable of wit and needn’t humour to taste the joy of living.
Like any substitute, it repeats in the difference the mastering of the primary processes by the preconscious system. It is through play that children acquire control of the primary process. The artist, in addition to this control, has that of the original means that are obviously his own.This lack of control characterizes the art brut.
According to Nietzsche and Freud, the world is only a game for innocent children directed by chance and necessity, and true Art exists when life, in its eternal return, repeats in the difference sorrows and joy , creations and decreations.
Thank you.
Jean Mas | photographie de la performance "L'enfant", 1995 | videogramme | © Jean Mas | photographie : © DR
Jean Mas | photographie de la performance "L'enfant", 1995 | © Jean Mas | photographie : © DR
Jean Mas | photographie de la performance "L'enfant", 1995 | © Jean Mas | photographie : © DR
Jean Mas | photographie de la performance "L'enfant", 1995 | © Jean Mas | photographie : © DR
Jean Mas | photographie de la performance "L'enfant", 1995 | © Jean Mas | photographie : © DR
Jean Mas | photographie de la performance "L'enfant", 1995 | © Jean Mas | photographie : © DR
Jean Mas | photographie de la performance "L'enfant", 1995 | © Jean Mas | photographie : © DR
Jean Mas | photographie de la performance "L'enfant", 1995 | © Jean Mas | photographie : © DR
Jean Mas | photographie de la performance "L'enfant", 1995 | © Jean Mas | photographie : © DR
Jean Mas | photographie de la performance "L'enfant", 1995 | © Jean Mas | photographie : © DR
Capture d'écran de la vidéo de la performance
Jean Mas | trace de la performance "L'enfant", 1995 | Capture d'écran de la vidéo de la performance | © Jean Mas | photographie : © DR | courtesy Alain Amiel
Jean Mas | photographie de la performance "L'enfant", 1995 | © Jean Mas | photographie : © DR
Jean Mas | photographie de la performance "L'enfant", 1995 | photographie : © DR | courtesy de l'artiste