Ah what was I saying, what were we saying?
Well, Ivens, the old Ivens… Well, what in fact is there in Ivens … ? He wants to render movement. He wants to convey in the movement-image something other than a figure. And what does he convey? The unresolved … nothing less. And that is the period of the wave. Don’t you know Ivens?
-No, not very well…
-That’s normal, at your age… you are still into something else… But Ivens is he who, after the painters, is caught in the necessity of conveying the time of things in the image in movement. It’s really something, making the movement. Art is blocks of movement. I don’t say « block » for no reason. It is not at all a metaphor. There is a monumental side to art. Make a monument ! It’s not that art is only monumental, quite the contrary, that would be a bad thing. The monument is something that it composes, with which it has to compose. And that is less tender than the flesh, and all those other things that I don’t understand very well. Art has to stand upright, the movement has to stand upright, a composition of movement. I don’t really know… It’s like the wave we mentioned before, it breaks, but the image conveys it in a form which is the form of the wave. Well, that’s not a terrific example. Let’s see if I can think of something else. There is a horse in a Manet painting that stands upright, but how? That’s the whole problem of movement, make the movement and keep standing upright. There you have a composition. Do you know this painting of a horse race?
-No, not really…
-Well, you can’t know everything…
-You are too kind, thank you. On the other hand, it seems to me that this is the problem of philosophy, the movement which is contained in the concept… Hegel perhaps?
-Ah yes, you know Hegel quite well, Hegel is very interesting. Nietzsche went further into movement, but a little after Hegel. And he went too far, it swept him away. He allowed himself to be transported by the movement. A transport. He could not bear it without collapsing. He did not have the monument. No, truly there is no question, it all comes back to Hegel. It is Hegel who introduced movement into the concept. That is his creation. You can’t deny him everything, let’s be fair… He is the great creator of movement in thought. You were speaking of Valéry before… But danse in philosophy, the rhythm which keeps the movement going, that’s Hegel. The difficulty, the problem is to follow him. Is that the dialectic or not ? I don’t think so… We would have to see. But according to what you tell me of Hegel, at that level, the dialectic doesn’t interest you either. Movement is stronger than the dialectic. Or we can say it in other terms: I was saying that Ivens conveyed movement. That he composes with it, but composes something other than movement. Manet paints a horse that stands upright… Good! Well, that is also the problem of the concept. What is the procedure by which it stands upright. But that is something I don’t know yet… We need a special word, something processual.
(notes taken by JCM, Avril 1988, translation Terence Blake)
Published: 20th May par J-C Martin