Jolanda Jansen


‘L ‘au-delà du serieux’:

‘I am speaking about happiness. But for the moment this is simply a desire, and the desire imagined separates me from its object. I am writing and I have difficulty bearing a difference between the one I will be, the work done, and me, who now wants to do it! I write waiting to be read, but time separates me from a moment in which I will be read! An endless chain: if I was read as I want to be read and if the desire to read me was the same as the one I have to write, how much would the reader suffer from the difference between the person he will be once having read me and the one who disturbs an obscure premonition? On the contrary, we read certain books a little afraid of the moment when we reach the end and must let them go…

Relevant texts:
We are born from nothing. Nor are we born into something. On the contrary, it is only by being born that the conditions of the presence are created by which we can conceive of nothingness. The recognition of presence, of our presence in the world is also the recognition of our separation of the world. We are not essential to the world, which has an existence that is independent of us. For us humans it is really important to be essential, in the world, but also for others. We are constantly trying to fight the loneliness.

As we establish a sense of our identity, we also become aware of our difference from what surrounds us. Being born isolates us in an alien environment. In the process, we strive both to preserve our autonomy as independent beings and to repair the sense of loss caused by this separation. This is the essential tragedy of human beings. We are always striving to satisfy contradictory impulses.

As we develop, we need to come to terms whit the limits of our separated being and to locate ourselves within the space and time in which we exist. The human condition is essentially absurd: we grow only in order to die, and death destroys everything we have so carefully built.

Though we may sense the world as alien to us, still it is only trough our own sensibility, which begins with our bodily experience, that it is made real.

Bataille saw the body as a thing of the basest material, the same as the material the world is made from. So He defined the matter/spirit problem as he saw it: ‘it is man’s misfortune to have the body of an animal and thus to be like a thing, but it is the glory of the human body to be the substratum of a spirit.’

When you try to transform the matter into spirit, the matter becomes scandalous, something that is constantly bringing us back down to the level of beasts. In art this could also be used to try to point out that we are in the beginning an animal.

The animal nature has been excluded from a bright world which signified humanity. They had to subtilise it, withdrawing it from the light and leave it in darkness where it is hidden from notice. The place for filth is in the dark. Secrecy is the condition for sexual activity, just as it is the condition for the performance of natural functions. When we are looking again for our nature now the dark has become appealing and we hide in the dark to let our nature go free.

Now we cannot know if excrement smells bad because of our disgust for it, or if its bad smell is what causes that disgust. Men is the only one or for sure the most ashamed of its nature.

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