The hugely influential artist, architect, sculptor, painter and social engineer revolutionised the way we think about the built environment and then drowned in the Mediterranean
Translated by Danvers Couchmere from the original haughty French
January 31, 1954.
Some-times it is as if this so-called great epoch has not begun at all. Rather, that it is merely the same dull epoch repeating itself, over and over, on and on, existentially, ad nauseam, like one of Sartre’s interminable plays.
Are we in fact living through the world’s first Existentialist Epoch? Perhaps. I think so. Wait. Did I just say ‘I think so’? Was that then? What about now? Do I still think that now? Damn! Caught in my own Thinking-Moment, like a wretched moth in a net curtain.
I have resolvd to analyse and improve my life. Not in that ‘intro-spective’ fashion, so ‘mode-ish’ in the salons of Paris.
I am a Modernist, not a Modeist. Although…the apellation ‘Modeist’ has a pleasing economy. I will perhaps ironise it with quotation-marks for a lecture I am mentally assembling, concerning the Tyranny of Context.
But let us return to the fascinating subject of L’Obscurier the Man, whose life may be described as a 226 x 226 x 226 equilateral triangle of existence, with points thus:
1. Maison L’Obscurier. A machine for living in. Furthermore - 1.a) a machine for remonstrating in; 1.b) a machine cultivating spousal antagonism; 1.c) a machine harbouring incompetent, resentful and impertinent servants; 1.d) a machine for brooding in; 1.e) a machine for propelling its human contents towards the next destination.
2. Atelier L’Obscurier. My studio is a laboratory, a workshop. A place of alchemy, where theoretical truth spins from brain-impulses - into words - into corporeal BEING.
[Note To Self: might the Roman Catholic Communion be Modernised, the better to fit my rational new churches?]
I have been spending a great deal of time at Atelier L’Obscurier lately, overseeing urgent projects, eg: the Radial Megalopolis, the Caribbean Retreat For A Benign Dictator, the Utopian Negro Jazz City and my magnum opus,
A Dance To The Perpendicularity Of Life, an ambitious mixed-medium master-piece incorporating poetry, sculpture, painting and panels of shuttered béton brut.
Alas all-too-often-now-a-days Atelier L’Obscurier is populated by nincompoops and sluggards [see 1.c-e, above].
3. The Paradox, my rational ocean-going-yacht. The design is a work of some genius, in my expert opinion. Not surprising, when one learns that the designer is none other than I, L’Obscurier!
Of course the crew complain constantly about the solid stone steering-wheel, the complex mast-sail schematics, the murals everywhere ‘obscuring vision’ - when of course they are performing the very opposite function ie:
ILLUSTRATING VISION. What next? Perhaps these rough, whiskery, salt-encrusted buffoons will mount some kind of industrialised ‘action’. A downing-of-gear-and-tackle. A refusal to set sail at all!
POST SCRIPTUM. I alert the crew of The Paradox that I wish to disembark and am informed that they are now ‘on strike’.
No matter. I will maneouvre the yacht into a suitable quadrant of ocean, lock the steering-wheel so that the craft performs a constant circular path, and swim beneath the propellers.
Getting back on-board may present a challenge. Bah. Such logistical details may be addressed in situ.
Ian Martin is away