Indepth Arts News: |
1999-09-21 until 1999-12-05
Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona
The entire body of work of Raymond Hains (Saint-Brieuc, 1926) revolves around a single
obsession: an exploration of the world based on language, with all the freedom of action and
existence which language allows. In 1947, the artist created his first hypnagogic photographs
which, with the help of special filters, enabled him to make a poem by Camille Bryen illegible.
Madness plays a fundamental role for Hains, who always relates it with the decadence inherent in
The techniques of appropriation which Raymond Hains constantly uses are complex cultural
operations, the basis of which lies in the play of language and the laws of the unconscious
formulated by psychoanalysis. Following in the tradition of Raymond Roussel and Marcel
Duchamp, Hains uses the inexhaustible process of association of ideas in the form of plays on
words and other procedures. He constructs a fragmented narrative which allows him to combine
the most varying elements and the most distant dimensions.
Making his way through a mixture of autobiographical references and cancelling out all personal
elements, Raymond Hains brings a marked sense of humour to his observation of a fragmented
subjectivity. For him, every room is a labyrinth of language; this means that the city is all the more
so, with the paths travelled by its citizens representing a real digression on the part of language.
Hains considers that the rhetoric of the walk, with its figures of language and paths, allows us to
design a poetic geography over the real geography of the world.