Guide Ceci nest pas un conte (French Edition)

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Ceci Nest Pas Un Conte Annotafac French Edition By Denis Diderot

Our experience, however, is based on condensed visual elements. Nothing is superfluous; each part potentially contains multiple meanings. The time of the creation process is reflected in the fragile material. Shape and surface appear more organic than starkly geometric, their appearance is very physical.


The concave form refers to the pear-shaped uterus, the cradle of physical life. At the same time, the negative cavity points to the aspect of potentiality; it is the woman herself who decides about her pregnancy. We look at a fragile cocoon, reminiscent of the outer shell of a turtle, that offers protection to unconscious life.

The material structure resembles an archaeological object that comprises several time layers, or a geological stratification that evolves without the interference of man. Life processes are predominantly controlled by nature according to age-old patterns.

The spheres also represent the earth, or are they domes as symbols of the universe? Later in life, our consciousness plays an increasingly important role, so the spheres also function as brains. Yet consciousness can hardly be defined, it exists just as well outside of our brain, through our entire body, in connection with our close and distant surroundings.

The spheres also suggest other time frames and dimensions with great creative potential. Where do our dreams come from and what do we do with them? Countless girls dream of being able to ride away on their own horses. This desire seems to be both innate as well as reinforced through upbringing and the visual industry. The horse, however, remains a metaphor for speed and strength, the sensation of freedom, of a woman who follows the thread of her fantasy. The drawings by Gudny Rosa Ingimarsdottir present in their apparent simplicity a variety of visual elements.

The artist makes full use of the intrinsic qualities of the paper, such as the colour, the texture and the edge. She seeks to strike a balance between her visual intervention and the empty surfaces.

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Sparingly, she uses fragments derived from various visual systems in the drawings: graphics, photography, language, typography, but even more from the manipulation of the paper itself. This is evidenced in the collage of fragments, as well as the application of paint and transparent paper.

Ceci nest pas un conte (French Edition)

In this way, she composes her own fragmented reality, partly abstract and partly suggestive. There is always the impression that we are looking at a part of a larger whole that extends beyond the edges of the picture. Here and there, organic forms appear that possibly refer to the body, to animals, stones, textiles or utensils. The tactile nature of this amalgam makes that the viewer becomes physically engaged with the work.

We look, as it were, at the time of the maker, whether it is the artist or a fictional character. The drawings are reminiscent of manuscripts and notes that have been heavily worked on. Subsequently, the work becomes affected by time, and, embodying both the time of the artist as well as the passing of time itself, manifests itself to the spectator. Since the drawings reveal multiple layers of time experience, the observer is invited to explore this temporal intensity within him or herself. This endeavour is endless; between the many layers of the work, there are many imaginary time zones that appear to be virtually limitless.

The story can go in countless directions. The global consumer culture stimulates the momentary gaze. Heidi Voet transforms the superficial lustre of such products into sculptures that tell a story about attraction, manipulation of human behaviour, economy and power relations. To do so, she uses specific articles that she combines with suggestive titles. The products are aimed at a broader middle class audience that is looking for an exclusive touch.

Often, these products aim to enhance the appearance of women according to global standards.

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The sculptures in the exhibition consist of eight tubes of toothpaste adorned with a wig made of human hair. Both the products and the spectators are reflected in a sheet of Plexiglas. They evoke a desire for a prosthetic metamorphosis. The international nature of these objects does not prevent women from projecting their self-conscious desire onto status symbols that are essentially defined by white men.

Such striking details also express the way roles are assigned and the real power relations on a global scale. Does the title hold the promise of the ultimate recognition of the female consumer, or does he rather open the gates of hell? But in holding that the Enlightenment was a movement of reason opposed to the passions, apologists and critics are two sides of the same coin. The passions — embodied affects, desires, appetites — were forerunners to the modern understanding of emotion.

Since the ancient Stoics, philosophy has generally looked on the passions as threats to liberty: the weak are slaves to them; the strong assert their reason and will, and so remain free. However, to say that the Enlightenment was a movement of rationalism against passion, of science against superstition, of progressive politics against conservative tribalism is to be deeply mistaken. T he Enlightenment began with the scientific revolution in the midth century, and culminated in the French Revolution at the end of the 18th.

Ceci n'est pas un conte by Denis Diderot

Hegel, in the early s, was one of the first to go on the offensive. He said that the rational subject conceived by Immanuel Kant — the Enlightenment philosopher par excellence — produced citizens who were alienated, dispassionate and estranged from nature, with the murderous rationalism of the French Terror the logical outcome. Their Kantian subject was a straw man, as was the dogmatic rationalism of their Enlightenment. In France, the philosophes were surprisingly enthusiastic about the passions, and deeply suspicious about abstractions.

Rather than holding that reason was the only means of battling error and ignorance, the French Enlightenment emphasised sensation. Many Enlightenment thinkers advocated a polyvocal and playful version of rationality, one that was continuous with the particularities of sensation, imagination and embodiment. You might even go so far as to say that the French Enlightenment tried to produce a philosophy without reason. All aspects of human thought grew from our senses, he said — specifically, the ability to be drawn towards pleasant sensations and driven away from painful ones.

These urges gave rise to passions and desires, then to the development of languages, and on to the full flourishing of the mind. That meant rationality was necessarily plural: it varied from place to place, rather than existing as an undifferentiated universal. Another totemic figure of the French Enlightenment was Denis Diderot. Diderot did not write down his philosophy in the form of abstract treatises: along with Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the Marquis de Sade, Diderot was a master of the philosophical novel as well as experimental and pornographic fiction, satire and art criticism.

Diderot did believe in the utility of reason in the pursuit of truth — but he had an acute enthusiasm for the passions, particularly when it came to morality and aesthetics. With many of the key figures in the Scottish Enlightenment, such as David Hume, he believed that morality was grounded in sense-experience.

Ethical judgment was closely aligned with, even indistinguishable from, aesthetic judgments, he claimed. For Diderot, then, eliminating the passions could produce only an abomination. A person without the ability to be affected, either because of the absence of passions or the absence of senses, would be morally monstrous. Quite the opposite: the most sensitive individual — the person with the greatest sensibility — was considered to be the most acute observer of nature. The archetypical example here was a doctor, attuned to the bodily rhythms of patients and their particular symptoms.

Instead, it was the speculative system-builder who was the enemy of scientific progress — the Cartesian physician who saw the body as a mere machine , or those who learned medicine by reading Aristotle but not by observing the ill. So the philosophical suspicion of reason was not a rejection of rationality per se ; it was only a rejection of reason in isolation from the senses, and alienated from the impassioned body. In this, the philosophes were in fact more closely aligned with the Romantics than the latter liked to believe.

Generalising about intellectual movements is always a dangerous business. The Enlightenment did have distinct national characteristics, and even within a single nation it was not monolithic. Some thinkers did invoke a strict dichotomy of reason and the passions, and privilege the a priori over sensation — Kant, most famously. Particularly in France, rationality was not opposed to sensibility but was predicated on and continuous with it.