book Gaëtan Picon

Admirable tremor of time, Gaëtan Picon

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Editions lContemporary WorkshopThe opportunity to rediscover this "masterly organiser" of literature and poetry, whose career ended at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes and was closely linked to the careers of several literary journals as well as to a very singular publishing venture. (1)
 
Gaëtan Picon was a philosophy graduate and a teacher. In 1959, he was called by André Malraux to be Director General of Arts and Letters from 1959 to 1966; under his responsibility, the first Maisons de la Culture were organised. He was then director of studies at the École pratique des hautes études and taught aesthetics at the École nationale des Beaux-Arts.
Gaëtan Picon has never ceased to be a critic of writers and artists. While his Minister wants everywhere, through the Houses of Culture, to spread the total heritage of the productions of the past, he privileges, as a philosopher inspired by Nietzsche, the creative elan of the generation of René Char or Jean Dubuffet. Inventor of a theorization of contemporary culture, he advocates a modern Art Museum, renewed in its intellectual postulates as well as in its structures. Out of political time and away from structuralist research, he is passionate about the interpretation of the genesis of works from the workshops of their authors. From then on, he sets the rules of a "conscious", poetic and philosophical critique which, by the density of a style that is both sensualist and abstract, has nevertheless marginalized him in the social imaginary.He has directed the magazine "Le Mercure de France" and was a member of the editorial staff of "L'Éphémère". He created the collection "Les Sentiers de la création", published by Albert Skira. (2).
On art, he wrote works on Ingres, Picasso, Dubuffet, Impressionism (1863, birth of modern painting) or Surrealism (Journal of Surrealism).
 
The reissue of "Admirable tremor of time" will be augmented by a book of unpublished critical studies by Yves Bonnefoy, Agnèe Callu, Francis Marmande, Philippe Sollers, Bernard Vouilloux.
 
"Some of the most beautiful paintings come from the old age of painters, and we love the shaking. We also like the cracking of the canvas, the erosion of the stones, and we find the same paths in the sketch. Art, for us, is a thing of the past. It is the breath of time that testifies to the life of a work, separating it from pastiche or forgery. Such are, between art and time, the signs of a connivance that justifies that I write: "I do not speak, one speaks to me only in the insomnia of time. "Isn't it falling into the mystifications of culture, of consciousness, of meaning? To do so, the meaning would have to be univocal and graspable, and the page would have to be turned. Art exists, remains in its history for the same reason that the work is always before us. Exercise of a desire that is not lacking in objects, but that each time misses its object, to turn back too late, to turn away too soon. This is why I can both remember and live, be memory and innocence, walk in the footsteps of time, never ceasing to cross the space of reminiscence and mirage where meaning shines and recedes. » Gaëtan Picon.
 
 
(1) According to the text of Alain Paire in Poezibao-April 2011
 
 
(2) Book" Gaetan Picon (1915-1976). Aesthetics and culture," de Agnès Callu - Edition Honoré Champion 2011
Agnès Callu is a former student of the Ecole Nationale des Chartes (thesis published on the Réunion des Musées Nationaux under the Third Republic, Lenoir Prize) and of the Institut National du Patrimoine (Hubert Robert class), Doctor of Contemporary History from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, Agnès Callu is a historian, curator of Heritage at the Museum of Decorative Arts, associate researcher at the CNRS (Institut d'histoire du temps présent, IHTP), lecturer at the University Paris - Sorbonne (Paris IV) and at Sciences Po as well as lecturer at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE). 
 
 

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