"... l’activité paranoïaque se sert toujours de matériaux contrôlables et reconnaissables. Il suffit que le délire d'interprétation soit arrivé à relier le sens des images des tableaux hétérogènes qui couvrent un mur, pour que déjà personne ne puisse nier l'existence réelle de ce lien. La paranoïa se sert de monde extérieur pour faire valoir l'idée obsédante, avec la troublante particularité de rendre valable la réalité de cette idée pour les autres." (... paranoid activity always makes use of verifiable, recognizable materials. It is enough for someone in the grip of an interpretive delirium to link the meanings of heterogeneous paintings that happen to hang on the same wall for the real existence of such a link to become undeniable. Paranoia uses the external world to validate an obsessive idea, with the troubling result of validating its reality to others.)
Salvador Dalí, "L'Âne Pourri" (The Rotten Ass), Le Surréalisme au service de la révolution, 1, 1930.
"On peut concevoir l'expérience vécue paranoïaque et la conception du monde qu'elle engendre, comme une syntaxe originale, qui contribue à affirmer, par les liens de compréhension qui lui sont propres, la communauté humaine." (The paranoid experience and the conception of the world it creates can be conceived as an original syntax which contributes to reinforce, through its own understanding bonds, the human community.)
Jacques Lacan, "Le problème du style et la conception psychiatrique des formes paranoïaques de l'expérience" (The Problem of Style and the Psychiatric Conception of Paranoiac Forms of Experience), Minotaure, 1, 1933.
"… il me semble que la tache politique actuelle dans une société comme la nôtre, c'est de critiquer le jeu des institutions apparemment les plus neutres et les plus indépendants, de les critiquer, de les attaquer de telle manière que la violence politique qui s'exerçait obscurément en elles soit démasquée et pour qu'on puisse lutter contre elles." (... it seems to me that the real political task in a society such as ours is to criticise the workings of institutions, which appear to be both neutral and independent; to criticise and attack them in such a manner that the political violence which has always exercised itself obscurely through them will be unmasked, so that one can fight against them.)
Michel Foucault, "Human Nature: Justice versus Power", 1971.
Using the concept of "heterotopia" formulated by Michel Foucault and the delirium as a method to criticize and recreate reality, Delirious Heterotopias is a transdisciplinary project halfway between the research, the artistic practice and the activism, based on the power of images. On the one hand, we think that the heterotopia, relating ultimately to the mythical crisis, is a key concept to understand our world, in which these states of exception, from Las Vegas to Guantanamo, are increasingly existing and persistent. On the other hand, our reality seems to be more and more delirious, and categories such as logic, reason or common sense seem to have less and less sense, if not just as smokescreens of other intentions. Thus, paradoxically, the most reasonable way to confront this situation might be to resort to the same delirious logic.
Therefore Delirious Heterotopias uses the power of images to question, but also and at the same time, recreate our reality. For this purpose we select graphic citations, in the form of heterotopias, and combine them through a delirious method and the technique of photomontage. In fact, this project is transdisciplinary and based on collages of apparently heterogeneous images in order to implicitly question the dominant thought at its very core: its epistemological structures. For these elections and statuses ultimately respond to strategies of domination of nature, including the human race, and as Paul Feyerabend showed (Against Method, 1975), are in fact "incommensurable" with respect to other forms of knowledge. Thus one of the strategies of this montages is to bring together phenomena belonging to different spheres, registers or disciplinary fields, thereby trying to show, not only that these phenomena might be more related than previously thought, but also that these divisions are contingent and respond to interests less noble than those confessed.
Photographic images and their time montages, have become the privileged means to the construction of contemporary reality, and as Susan Sontag stated (On Photography, 1977), that is often achieved through the disintegration of reality and the subsequent reconstruction through the juxtaposition of these disjointed fragments. Then again following a counter-strategy based on the same mechanisms we try to challenge, Delirious Heterotopias triggers, as the Surrealist did, the "meeting on a dissecting-table of a sewing-machine and an umbrella", which might be a revealing way of reintegration, and therefore of recreation of reality.
Moreover, contrary to what the dominant discourse intends us to believe, images are rarely transparent with respect to reality; they always imply some degree of opacity or concealment, that is to say, of representation. This is the way, we claim, power and institutions work, namely masking the violence which ultimately supports them; a violence that we try to unveil. Since we assume that power continues to function on the basis of mythical-ritual structures of a theatrical or representational character. And among them, following René Girard (Violence and the Sacred, 1972), "sacrificial mechanisms" as well as their public celebrations would occupy a prominent place.
Images thus play a key role in the construction of reality, or in other words, in the representation of power. A re-presentation which is nothing but a new presentation of a previous representation, and so in an endless series. Our aim is not therefore to demonstrate anything about reality, about this hypothetical original presentation which would be at the base of the series, but only to show how the show works. And at the same time suggest alternatives, no less illusory.