Tuesday, June 12, 2007

DREAMS by Alexandre Fatta

We might think like Joseph Beuys that “everyone is an artist” or like Lautréamont that “poetry must be made by all”. But it’s a matter of fact that everyone dreams and that, consequently, everyone generates symbols. Access to irrational symbols is therefore universal. That’s why it seems strange, even laughable, that most people, probably you yourselves, can live their whole lives without attempting to understand these symbols and thus understand the meaning of their own lives and, by extension, of human life.

Let’s pose the question: does Man want to see? Individuals take stock of everything they encounter in the external world, measuring and quantifying it, so as to liberate themselves from it. In my view they should rather be taking stock of everything they encounter in their internal world, interpreting and describing it so as to re-integrate it and live in harmony with both worlds, between the “communicating vessels”.

In a world which, by all manner of means – religion, media, school – alienates the individual from him- or herself, the most emancipatory, the most explosively subversive gesture is quite simply to record one’s dreams on waking, to keep a daily journal of them, to date, annotate and compare them … You don’t have the time? It’s up to you to take it. You live in a “rich country”, the welfare system is still in place and ready to serve the noblest of causes: the dream. A life of poverty or a living death? I’ve made my choice. You don’t dream very often? Wrong. You dream every night. But your daily preoccupations, professional or otherwise, with the external world don’t allow you to remember your oneiric adventures. You need only to focus your attention during the first moments of wakefulness, to follow the thread of your thoughts, and immediately some elements of the dream will emerge, sometimes even the whole dream. This exercise, if repeated every morning, will bear fruits which can even become excessive: in my case, after several months of sustained attention, the dreams came fast and furious, as many as three or four very long dreams a night or even more. Then you will know the fatigue of the oneiroscopist, the nocturnal gleaner (since you must record the dreams on waking) and when morning comes you will have so much work to do in transcribing the “fair copy” into your journal that you will soon have to leave your job, abandon your studies, or at least stop merely surviving so that you can plunge yourself more and more deeply into life itself, life at its most symbolic and meaningful.

If, as C.G. Jung thought, as we think, dreams transform us, then I am speaking here of a philosophy of transformation akin to that of the alchemists or, more familiarly, of the surrealists. All the things that serve to prevent this transformation from taking place in every human being will soon be unable to suppress the revolt which has been building up in this way for centuries.

Excerpted from Alexandre Fatta (2006) “En guise de presentation”, Terre Gaste, issue 1.
Originally written by Alexandre Fatta and read by David Nadeau at an exhibition of their collages, 8th May 2005.
Translated by Merl.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like the article on the implications of dreaming versus the work world. Your comments brought to mind something that has worked for me in the past to recall dreams. Several times I've been able to do a page or two of rapid automatic writing, and at a certain point the dream floods back into my awareness for recording and evaluation. I would always note in the text just when this happened. This was during times when I knew I'd had dreams but couldn't recall them due to oversleep or other factors.