'' On the Stupidity of Psychiatrists | A history of performance art on the Riviera from 1951 until now

On the Stupidity of Psychiatrists

Pierre Pinoncelli
Pierre Pinoncelli

Convocation officielle des psychiatres

Technique description référence: 
Convocation officielle des psychiatres
Convocation officielle des psychiatres in plaquette <em>Mourir à Pékin</em>, Pierre Pinoncelli, 1974
Pierre Pinoncelli | trace de la performance "De la bêtise des psychiatres", 1969 | Convocation officielle des psychiatres in plaquette Mourir à Pékin, Pierre Pinoncelli, 1974 | © DR | courtesy Pierre Pinoncelli
Because of his happening Cultural Attack against Minister André Malraux and painter Marc Chagall, Pierre Pinoncelli was summoned for a psychiatric examination. The tests which were supposed to last three days were considerably shortened.
excerpt from Meurtre Rituel (Ritual Murder), Pierre Pinoncelli, 1969, unpaginated.

« This society (anonymous of course... so that it can constantly declare bankruptcy, and start all over again!) This society then has two very simple ways of eliminating me: either they decide that I am “accountable ” (a judge may very well consider only the action, without dealing with the artistic motif. For example, for the Hold-up au pistolet-à-eau contre la Saltim-Banque Rothschild (Holding up the Rothschild Bank with a Water Pistol), by coldly charging me for a holdup! ), and sending me to jail for some time, hoping that it will cause me to think better of it... (as if one did any “thinking” in jail!... One becomes hard... like stale bread, that's all!). Or, this ltd society might have its psychiatrists declare me “non-accountable “, under the pretext that I am dangerous for it, or for myself (sic!), and also lock me up -- but in an asylum -- in a soft jacket.

After this attack-on-morality (that of a certain culture) against Malraux, Judge Menant -- a good man nonetheless -- indeed had me go through a psychiatric examination!!! And this, after a three-hour discussion with me, during which he was perfectly able to see that I wasn't “crazy”! For my own amusement, and out of curiosity (I wanted to see myself with electrodes on my head, like curlers!), I accepted to submit to this exam. Actually, I should have refused (would they have forced me and dragged me there by the hair?... Not by the hair, in any case!).

Because indeed -- and even though there were no more electrodes on my head than there was butter in PAPILLION’s soup when he was in Cayenne -- this examination with psychiatrists Rancoule and Camuzard archly enlightened me on these people’s unhealthy tendency to judge you as being “abnormal”!

And yet I had explained to them -- with the amazing tenderness of my gestures, and my hands pressing a chalk drawing on the wall of the hospital -- how this attack against Malraux was part of a perfectly logical, deliberate series of actions accomplished with the utmost composure: happenings. But their diagnosis was dropped, like Danton's head in the sawdust basket: HYPOMANIA! According to the Larousse, the definition is “mental disease characterized by euphoria, exuberant ideas in rapid succession, and by agitation”(in fact it seems to me that this hypomania is a “disease” with many qualities... and in fact I'm very happy to be “sick”, since healthy people suffer from depression, a lack and poorness of ideas, and are amorphous!).”

Pierre Pinoncelli

These doctors have saddled me with -- as if with an abominable and wrinkled old hat – a “state of artistic sublimation” (sic!), “dangerous euphoria” (in other words almost a laughing gas!), and an “irrational impulse for the strange action called a happening” (re-sic!).

In order to contradict the delirious conclusions of these psychiatrists I am claiming -- and I am standing on a commode to claim this more loudly -- that the only “irrational impulse” that nearly overwhelmed me just before the attack, and particularly when the police motorcyclists escorting the minister started arriving from Cimiez Avenue, was to RUN... run towards the sea, in my Macintosh, and swim towards the orange dotted horizon... escape to my sailboat and cast off the spinnaker... just to see its multicolored flesh tremble in the prissy sky...

But I resisted what to me would have been “hit and run”, because I am filled, to the rim of my eyes, with an explosive liquid (something that these psychiatrists know nothing about, because they do not possess a single drop of it, undoubtedly), this colored liquid is called: COURAGE... I'm ashamed to have to use this completely ridiculous “swear word” that I hate, because we often find it, in red pants and swelling with pride, in all the books on the History of France!

In short, when I look at the awful sadness and the boredom of ”normal people” , I'm happy to be “CRAZY ” and joyful...”MADNESS ” is the translucid gift of fairies to poets and artists! LONG LIVE MADNESS!