Charles J. Stivale -- Deleuze & Guattari

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Magazine littéraire 406, February 2002 -- Dossier: "L'effet Deleuze"

Updated February 26, 2003

Magazine littéraire 406, February 2002 - Dossier: "L'effet Deleuze" [The Deleuze effect]

The "Deleuze Monument"

During the Avignon Festival, summer 2000, in the context of the exhibit on La Beauté [Beauty], the Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn elected to install a "Deleuze Monument" outside the ramparts, in a likely quarter of the Avignon suburbs. This project was part of the artist's approach to a work made of multiple gatherings and recuperation [of objects], a kind of visual gleaning to which he invites everyone to participate. So at the end of May 2000, the Deleuze Monument was constructed, a precarious edifice built piecemeal, of parts that inhabitants of the quartier brought to enrich it with poems, drawings and various graffiti ("Come back, Gilles!" "G.D.: we love you"). Hirschhorn himself provided a sculpture of the philosopher on which he inscribed this offering: "Gilles, we miss you, but we are managing" [Gilles, tu nous manques, mais on se débrouille]. This interactive installation also sheltered a library in which the philosopher's books were collected and in which his video interviews from the Abécédaire were broadcast. Open 24 hours a day, supervised by people from the quartier, the purpose of the Deleuze Monument was to juxtapose a certain idea of Beauty at the very base of the iron and steel HLM buildings [Note: HLM = habitation à loyer modéré, i.e. low-to-mid income housing]. Sadly, the Museum was demolished after two months, victimized by repeated thefts and acts of vandalism. Thomas Hirschhorn, who also developed a Spinoza Monument, outlined this Deleuzian experience in a voluminous dossier, juxtaposed to handwritten commentaries, some elements of which we have excerpted here.

[One handwritten comment: "Deleuze: Why I chose Gilles Deleuze: Because he is an important contemporary French philosopher, because he intervened on behalf of a philosophy at once offered to everyone, hence to people who have never had contact with philosophy, and at the same time to amateurs, from philosophers to "professionals" of philosophy. I chose Deleuze because his writings give me the courage, the strength and the pleasure to reflect."]

CJ Stivale

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