Art Brut, the collection
Texts by Anic Zanzi, Gustavo Giacosa and David Le Breton
This third volume (after Vehicles and Architecture) in the series entitled Art Brut The Collection, accompanying the Biennales de l’Art Brut, includes only works from the Lausanne museum, some of which have rarely been exhibited. The book contains a large number of drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, reflecting the manifold representations of the human body in Art Brut, while paying close attention to the intimate relationship the artists have established with their creations. These works represent a sort of hand-to-hand combat; they are “battles” in which no quarter is asked or given between the creator and his own image and unique personal history. For some the body is the refuge of a complex intimacy, for others it is a prison from which to escape, and for still others a storehouse of energy that needs to be set free and transformed. Rarely exhibited or published, Jean Dubuffet’s prisoners’ tattoos reveal how creations lying on the margins of art’s traditional subject matter held a magnetic attraction for the founder of the concept of Art Brut, the core of the Lausanne museum’s collection. The great “classics” of At Brut, such as Aloïse Corbaz, rub shoulders with more recent discoveries, such as Eric Derkenne’s body-faces, or the all-powerful “nuclear trans-sexuality” of Giovanni Galli. The doubling of the self and a play of mirrors highlight the instinctive search for identity typical of Josef Hofer and Robert Gie. Whether dismembered and fragmented in Giovanni Bosco’s work, or tightly gathered in cosmic unity in Guo Fengyi’s creations, the body gives form to a perpetual flux that art can exploit to express existential experience.
Gustavo Giacosa is an actor, theatre producer, choreographer and exhibition organiser. He began his training in 1991 under Pippo Delbono. In 2005, he founded the ContemporArt Cultural Association in Genoa and began exploring the relationship between art and madness in the various forms art takes, organizing several exhibitions on this topic, such as Banditi dell’arte at Halle Saint Pierre in Paris, and Eric Derkenne. Champs de bataille at Collection de l’Art Brut. Giacosa moved to France in 2012, where he founded his own theatre company: SIC.12.
David Le Breton is professor of Sociology at the University of Strasbourg and a member of the Institut Universitaire de France. He is the author of Disparaitre de soi. Une tentation contemporaine, La sociologie du corps, Expériences de la douleur. Entre destruction et renaissance, Anthropologie du corps et modernité, and Tenir. Douleur chronique et réinvention de soi.