All 1 entries tagged Sansation

No other Warwick Blogs use the tag Sansation on entries | View entries tagged Sansation at Technorati | There are no images tagged Sansation on this blog

August 18, 2004

On art and the art of war – Bacon and Cezanne

Some principles of successful military command:

  • Recruit and train forces, divide them up, and arrange them according to the terrain in which they will operate and the opposing arrangements of enemy forces. This requires intelligence, strategy, and imagination.
  • Identify a sufficiently distant goal so as to allow for a wide range of local conditions to emerge on the path to that goal.
  • Provide the forces with time and space in which to operate with relative autonomy in order to explore and adapt to local conditions so as to move towards the objective. This requires diplomacy, political guile, and a certain charm in dealing with those who demand results.
  • Encourage the different individual divisions of the forces to advance with speed or caution as required so as to co-ordinate with each other.
  • Maintain the necessary lines of supply and communication to and between the divisions (resource going to the front).
  • Maintain the necessary lines of supply and communication from the divisions (resource returning to the command).

On art and the battle ground of the canvas:

As i think Deleuze indicates in his book on Bacon, these artists had a deeply strategic understanding of how to enable, command even, their artistic powers. Each of these principles of good command can be seen in their practices. For example, Deleuze describes how for these artists the terrain is sensation, the enemy is figuration (the figural locked to representation), and the relatively autonomous forces are the artistic diagram (a difficult term, capturing a technique in its relation to the figural but not at the mercy of representation). The diagram is unleashed into unanticipated and dangerous territories of sensation:

The diagram is indeed a chaos, a catastrophe, but it is also a germ of order or rhythm. It is a violent chaos in relation to the figurative givens, but it is a germ of rhythm in relation to the new order of the painting. As Bacon says, it "unlocks areas of sensation." Deleuze, Francis Bacon: Logic of Sensation, p.102

Deleuze describes in great detail Francis Bacon's strategy for painting, for creativity, for achieving all of the above for the cause of the campaign, creating paintings that each unlock sensation in a new way. He sees this in all great painters, citing Van Gogh and Klee as well, and of course Cezanne, who was prior to Bacon the most effective documentor of the battle ground of the canvas.