DESCENDING CATALOGUE / REINIER VRANCKEN
DESENDING CATALOGUE is a rearrangement of ‘L’Union libre’ (1931) by André Breton, a poem that follows the conventions of blazon: a type of catalog verse in which the poet lists the physical attributes of a (usually female) subject, and compares these to jewels, celestial bodies, natural phenomena, and other beautiful or rare objects. The unexpected and surrealist comparisons made in ‘L’Union libre’ strain the relation between the subject and her metaphorical body, losing all pretense of a romantic gesture. By re-organizing the poem, Vrancken proposes a headless subject who carries her head in her hands. We encounter the body of the text at the shoulders, after which we descend. Her head is placed in between her hands, as she touches and holds her head, and thereby her own textual representation. Vrancken performs a balancing act between authoring and not: he appropriates the poem, “beheading” André Breton as author, without taking the helm completely, thereby leaving a “headless” production with its meaning unfixed and unsettled.
Includes an essay by Pia Louwerens
Size 21 x 16 cm