I paint I am

je peins je suis

Almost a year ago to the day, I wrote a short text to introduce myself on Facebook with a Cartesian catchphrase saying I PAINT SO I AM.

Today, I am happy to replace the wording with: I PAINT I AM.

I do not deny what I have written, but I notice that I have changed by no longer being Norbert who decides to paint to exist.

There is Norbert who is painting, in other awords: for Norbert, to paint, to exist, even to be.

There is not a subject who paints an object, or an inside person who would paint an outside but a being who exists by experiencing creation.

I owe this phenomenological understanding to Martin Heidegger.

Not to look at a landscape, for example, but to see it.
The difference is that when you see a landscape, you are in it at the same time.
Painting is not painting something external to oneself: an object or an idea to which one wants to give shape and colour.
In creating, there is no exterior and interior: being is one.
We are not in the here and now, we are the here and now, what Heidegger calls the Dasein.
Duality is a creation of the mind, reality is a unique whole.

What difference does it make?
When we experience this change, we feel more responsible for what we paint because we are both the painter and the work.

Here, for example, I made you a cup of Yunnan d’Or tea. A real delight!

It is not an external object that I painted, but at the same time the expression of my passion for this tea, the desire to communicate this passion and the desire to share something with you.

I don’t know why tea today, nor the choice of colors, the tea stains next to the cup…

It doesn’t matter if the painting is abstract, concrete or figurative.

What I do know is that this tea is a pleasure for both taste buds and eyes. It has a slight cocoa flavour and a brown colour of rare intensity.

The truth of my being today is simply a desire to share this emotion in this breakthrough, this openness, this creation.


The work of art as a work of art

origine de l'eouvre d'art

2nd part of excerpts from Martin Heidegger’s lecture.

The work of art is always taken in a relationship with something else and is not captured from itself: it is either considered as being produced by the artist, or as being an object taken care of by the art market (Kunstbetrieb)

But is it possible to understand something from itself, outside of any relationship? Because understanding remains a form of relationship.

Doesn’t the attempt to extract the work from any relationship aim to directly meet the essence of the work itself?

Certainly, because then the work will manifest itself (offenbarsein) as a work.

The work means the being manifested (Offenbarsein).

The whole question is what does this demonstration and openness (Öffentlichkeit) mean?

By this is meant the place where the work “takes effect” (“wirkt), where it is inclined to stand in the open. ( ins Offene hinaussteht).

This is nothing tangible that can be reached, like a letter reaches its recipient.

On the contrary, in the manifest being of the work is fully obtained ( erwirkt sich), for the first time the opening of the work.

And where this opening takes place, the work destroys any relationship.

And it is this capacity for destruction that is the measure of the greatness of a work of art.

The origin of the work of art (Part 1)

de l'origine de l'oeuvre d'art

Fragments of texts from a lecture by Martin Heidegger entitled

It is not a question of solving the enigma of art but only of showing it.

The “origin” referred to here can be summed up more simply as the “cause of the presence of works of art”.

The being of the work is determined by what the work finds its basis in.
And this background alone is the origin of the work of art, which is its essence and necessity.

This origin is not found in the artist.

The origin of the work of art is art.

Art is not, because there are works;
but on the contrary, it is only through and insofar as art happens that the existence of works is made necessary.

And what makes the work necessary is the same background that makes the artist possible.

Extract from Plato’s banquet

banquet de platon

Excerpts from the Diotime – Socrates dialogue of the BANQUET de PLATON (205b) on the effects of love.

What advantages does Love bring to men?

The one who is a lover of beautiful things, what does he love?

  • Let them become his.

And what about the one who will have the good things become his?

  • He will be happy. It is indeed through the possession of good things that happy people are happy.

Do you think that this wish and this love is something common to all men and that all wish a perpetual possession of good things?

  • That is also my opinion, I replied: they are something common to all men.

Since this is so, why, Socrates, of all people, do we not say that they love? Yes, if it is true that they are all in love with the same things and always in love? why, on the contrary, why do we say of some that they are in love, and do we not say of such others?

I too am not surprised!

Well,” she said, “you shouldn’t be surprised. After having, you can see, apart from a certain form of love, we call it love, attributing to it the name of the whole; while for the other forms we have recourse to other denominations.

What is comparable? I asked.

This is it. You know very well what a multiplicity of meanings the idea of creation has. Undoubtedly, what is the cause of its transition from non-existence to existence is in any case a creation.

-You’re telling the truth!

However, you know very well, she continued, that they are not called creators but poets.

You are right! I said.

And now it is the same in the case of love. In general, all that is desire for good things and happiness is what Love is. Some who, in many different ways, orient themselves towards him, whether in the field of business or in that of a penchant, either for the exercises of the body or for the culture of the mind, are not told that they love, they are not called lovers, while others, whose actions, whose zeal is ordered to a single form, are the ones who retain the name of all, love, they are said to love, they are called lovers.

It may well be, I said, that you are right!

Undoubtedly, she continued, there is a doctrine according to which those who seek half of themselves are the ones who love. My own doctrine states that love is neither love of a half nor of a whole, unless in some way, comrade, they are precisely a good thing! For what everyone’s aspirations are about is not, I think, what belongs to him, unless it is the good that is called clean and to himself, but the stranger, on the contrary the bad: proof that nothing, in truth, except the good is loved by men! Is that your opinion about them?

Yes, by Zeus! I wrote to myself, but I have no other!

But, she continued, is it like that all of us unite, that we talk about the love of men for what is good?

Yes, I said.

What?” she said again? Shouldn’t we add that they like what is good to be theirs?

It must be added.

But, she said again, not only that it should be theirs, but that it should be theirs forever?

That is what needs to be added.

Consequently, she concludes, the object of love is, on the whole, the perpetual possession of what is good.

  • Nothing could be truer than this language!