Natacha Bergman, ' Ex Tenebris',, October 26 2013

Represented by Bureau (New York), the work of Lionel Maunz (USA, 1976), shown until Sunday evening at FIAC, reads like an exhumation of graves without bodies. Only traces are visible, the exhumed objects which impose infinitely more densely than the human destinies to which they attest. Nothing human in these traces. Nothing but the inhuman that would outline the definition of a kind of hollow humanity. That is to say, a trauma. If language is a construction whose aim is to enter into relation with otherness, the work of Lionel Maunz presented here betrays the destruction of a language, or the display of fear and cruelty that lie in the innermost speaking in tongues like a requiem impossible to sing. Cruel and desperate, precise and obsessive, these three works stretch and turn like a glove that shows its seams, revealing both the painful details that compose it as well as the thirst for the confrontation which makes it fully discovered. In the iron and concrete of Cone of Erebus, does one not imagine a heavy artillery apparatus of a new military theater? “If I kill myself, it would not be to destroy myself, but to reconstitute myself, suicide will for me be a means to reconquer myself violently, to make an abrupt interruption in my being, to pre-empt the uncertain advance of God,” wrote Antonin Artaud. In the silence of the destruction, or the stupor of a glorious transfiguration, it is about designating trauma for a good. Without justification, nor complaints nor regrets, the artist gives here a view to the entrails of his multiple unsealed crypts made available to those who have the ability to decipher them.

(Translation by GG)



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