Nothing is allowed.
Everything is possible.
Automatism which is used here is as old as the world, as old as free
dancing, singing and speaking. Its novelty is that, before surrealism,
nobody though that this mode of expression could be used to get a better
understanding of human beings. »
(Paul-Émile Borduas, 1947).
Overcoming censorship and self-censorship to express ourselves freely
and directly is both our urgency and our challenge. How can we subvert
the economic, emotional and intellectual repression that prevents us
from making ourselves heard, that stops us from expressing what we are,
our relationships, hopes and fears, love and hatred, desires and needs?
We draw from the experience of automatists a process that makes it
possible to continue this endeavour today. Their attempts are obviously
not the only ones, but their approach – which rejects the prioritizing
of intention and any limits or prerequesite conditions – has the
potential to take us to new and unknown territories that we could not
reach otherwise. The unprecedented outcome that may result illustrates
our power to foil, if only temporarily, this pervading repression.
Automatism therefore offers a real and fertile perspective of invention.
We know very well that this freedom of expression we are seeking is part
and parcel of our collective liberation. And if our endeavours belong to
this general liberation, they become also accelerators to that movement.
Today, the expansion of the Internet has made it possible for us and
more people – not only for the comfortable classes – to express
ourselves socially and offer to each other our discoveries and
inventions. This is a new expression that we are being carried away by
and that we carry in our vital movement. It is now up to the visitors of
this website to pursue in their own way what is proposed here, alone or
with others, here and elsewhere.
London, April 2005.
*Paul-Émile Borduas, Parlons un peu peinture, 1947. Reproduced in
Refus Global et autres écrits, Éditions TYPO / L’Hexagone, 1997.