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


Jean Mas
Jean Mas
Bibliographical sources: 
cité in Performas, 40 ans d'art d'attitude, Alain Amiel, 2010
Jean Mas

For this exhibit, I asked the audience to applaud for me repeatedly.




Dear friends,


What I can say today about the Pansemiotic, it is that, by its practice, it induces a process of receptivity. First, the practice of signs, which are found in the field of the constitutive opening of our object. The coming purpose, knowledge, obviously. The practice of the organization of these signs which guarantees a possible connection of things by granting them a template. The identification of models constitutes a significant unit in a situation of discourse. And this situation gives us the framework for a first intervention.


First intervention

Updated our directory that a polysemy of its own, as dependent on the subject (of the situation), becomes guarantees the support of a state of emptiness. Being ready to grasp, it’s the paradox of vacuums! A vacuum that allows the availability of emptiness.


Play on style, word play, or delirium

I would condsider dice, in the symbolic acceptance of its six faces (mineral, vegetable, animal, human, psychological, divine), and the lyre, certainly, as symbols of cosmic harmony. Thus, the blow of delirium as a means of (“com” ou “ap”)prehension carries with it the order of meaning that constitutes it.

Returning to our affair, naturally, the affair of knowledge, but must it be considered as true? If internal normalcy in delusional thinking does not correspond to social standards, and if this thinking is exclusive to itself, we are in a sort of pathos, have no doubt about it. But if the notion of the model is involved when the frame is established in the way I previously put forward (though not completely developed), then we can, in the progression of the delirium, do creative work. To create is not to fill, it exists so that an empty place arises where desire takes root.


Mas in his studio, called in French an “atelier,” to consider as a link: “à te lier”

The Pansemiotician will be that who, from a position: as artist, as scientist, as analyst (instituted social position) will lead progress by the transconceptual implementation of the data that he will have identified, suspected, digested, invented.


Oh! The excellent material leftovers of the Pansemiotician!

There are only leftovers in the ranks of those who line up to say “Let’s sit at the table,” let’s say all, and afterwards everything will be better. Nails, and sure, but the consensus comes from there, we’re usually pretty happy about it, because it is part of crucial attitudes. Orestes, this mythical character, represents in our eyes, he who ensures a fair conclusion. With him, the leftovers become evidence of his service, and by them, he ensures the take back of his due. What can the Pansemiotician take back?


He can take back everything, it is not only the permanent coup d’état in the sense of a seizure of power that would recover itself on its own, but also a necessity to say, I take back one. Because he who says zero, takes himself for God, and there, with mysticism, “Bets are off, the chips are down.”

I have the distinct impression the put you in dangerous zones: mysticism, delirium, pathos, Orestes...Note, it is sometimes good to take them to later be able to play with them. This is nothing but reminders to those who want to listen, to articulate well. Because the Pansemiotic is also an affair of articulation, that is to say, of science.

The Pansemiotic is an absolute science because it possesses in itself all its criteria for relevance. It is at the same time true science (effects of truth) and fair science (all can be explained by it), but it is not an exact science (each Pansemiotician being able to end up with different results.) I would even say that they have to end up with different results...On the other hand, the effects can overlap – this is a question of subject. It is of an absolute relativity.


I will now give you a concrete example, on the theme “Pansemiotic and the unconscious!”


See you, Pansemiotically.

Jean Mas | photographie de la performance "Pansémiotique", 1989 | photographie : © DR | courtesy de l'artiste
Jean Mas | photographie de la performance "Pansémiotique", 1989 | photographie : © DR | courtesy de l'artiste