alexandra levasseur + automatism

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+ visual vocabulary
paintings and drawings by Alexandra Levasseur

Great series of works by Alexandra Levasseur, I love the fragmented elements, obscured figures, scrawls and scribbles. These fragments and random doodle-like scrawls is reminiscent of the constant stream of thought. Shapes and lines form symbols that help to tell a story, to illustrate a memory. (i.e automatism)


Technique first used by Surrealist painters and poets to express the creative force of the unconscious in art.

In the 1920s the Surrealist poets André Breton, Paul Éluard, Robert Desnos, Louis Aragon, and Philippe Soupault tried writing in a hypnotic or trancelike state, recording their train of mental associations without censorship or attempts at formal exposition. These poets were influenced by Freudian psychoanalytic theory and believed that the symbols and images thus produced, though appearing strange or incongruous to the conscious mind, actually constituted a record of a person’s unconscious psychic forces and hence possessed an innate artistic significance.

(from britannica)

reading: what is contemporary art

notes from e-flux journal: what is contemporary art

critique of presence by Jacques Derrida
the present is originally corrupted by past and future, there’s always absence at the heart of presence.

‘comrades of time’ by boris groys
when we began to question our projects, to doubt or reformulate them, the present becomes important. it’s because the contemporary present is constituted by doubt, hesitation, uncertainty, indecision, by the need for prolonged reflection.

the past is also permanently rewritten, names and events appear/disappear, reappear/disappear.

comrades of time: contemporary in German means comrade. to be contemporary is to collaborate with time, helping time when it has problems/difficulties.

now and elsewhere by raqs media collective
time girds the earth tight. day after day, astride minutes and seconds, the hours ride as they must, relentless. in the struggle to keep pace with the clocks, we are now always in a state of jet lag.

how do we orient ourselves in relation to a cluster of occasionally cascading, sometimes overlapping, partly concentric and often conflictual temporal parameters?

on forgetting
as time passes and we grow more into the contemporary, the reasons for remembering other times grow, while the ability to recall them weakens. memory straddles this paradox. we could say the ethics of memory have something to do with the urgent negotiation betwene having to remember (which sometimes include the obligation mourn) and the requirement to move on (which sometimes include the need to forget). both are necessary and each is nontionally contingent on the abdication of the other, but life is not led by the easy rhythm of regularly alternating episodes of memory and forgetting, cancelling each other out in a neat equation that resolves itself and attains equillibrium.

haunt a record
what does it mean to haunt a record? when does a presence or a trace become so deeply etched into a surface that it merits a claim to durability simply for being so difficult to repress, resolve, deal with and put away?


from austin kleon’s “show your work”


“the problem with hoarding is you end up living off your reserves. eventually you will become stale. if you give away everything you have, you are left with nothing – to replenish, to give away, the more you give away, the more comes back to you”.
– paul arden

dumpster diving/
treasure in trash/
culture debris/

we all love things that other people think are garbage. you have to have the courage to keep loving your garbage. because that makes us unique is the diversity and breadth of our influences.