artreview1_46824tumblr_mn6nh8UHCb1qex654o1_500sullivan_216-Sullivan© Françoise Sullivan, Danse de la Neige (Dance in the Snow), 1948. 17 black & white photographs by Maurice Perron

The society that was born of faith will die at the hands of reason…
The fatal disintegration o f our collective moral strength into strictly individual and sentimental power has undermined the once formidable shield of abstract knowledge behind which society takes cover to enjoy its ill-gotten gains at leisure .
It took t h e last two wars to achieve this absurd result. The horror of the third war will be decisive. We are on the brink of a D-day of total sacrifice.
The rats are already fleeing a sinking Europe by crossing the Atlantic. However, events will eventually overtake the greedy, the gluttonous, the sybarites, the unperturbed, the blind and the deaf.
They will be mercilessly swallowed up.
A new collective hope will dawn.
It is already demanding the passion of exceptional insights, anonymous union in renewed faith in the future, in the future collectivity.
The magical harvest magically reaped from the unknown lies ready in the field. It was gathered by all the true poets. Its powers of transformation are as great as the violence practiced against it, as its continued resistance to attempts to make use of it.
None of these treasures is accessible to our society as yet. They are being preserved intact for future use. They were created spontaneously outside of and in spite of civilization. Their effects on society will be felt only when our present needs are clear.
Meanwhile, our duty is plain.
We must abandon the ways of society once and for all and free ourselves from its utilitarian spirit. We must not willingly neglect our spiritual side. We must refuse to turn a blind eye to vice, to scams masquerading as knowledge, as services rendered, as payment due. We must refuse to live out our lives in the only plastic village, a fortified place but easy enough to escape from. We must insist on having our say-do what you will with us, but hear us you must-and refuse fame and privilege (except that of being heard), which are the stigma of evil, indifference and servility. We must refuse to serve, or to be used for, such ends…
Make way for magic! Make way for objective enigmas! Make way for love! Make way for what is needed!
We accept full responsibility for the consequences of our total refusal.
Self-interested plans are nothing but the stillborn children of their parents.
Passionate actions have a life of their own.
We are happy to take full responsibility for tomorrow. Rational effort can only release the present from the constraints of the past when it stops looking back.
Our passions will spontaneously, unpredictably, necessarily forge the future.
Although we must acknowledge the past as the birthplace of the future, it is far from sacred. We owe it nothing.
It is naive and unhealthy to think that, because historical persons and events happen to be famous, they are endowed with special qualities to which we ourselves cannot aspire. These qualities are indeed out of the reach of facile academic affectedness, but anyone who responds to the deepest needs of his or her being or recognizes his or her new role in a new world will attain them automatically. This is true for anyone, at any time.
The past must no longer be used as an anvil for beating out the present and the
All we need fro m the past is what we can put to use today. The present will inevitably give way to the future.
We need not worry about the future until we happen upon it …
Unity is the road to success.
Yesterday we stood alone and irresolute.
Today we form a strong, steady group whose ramifications are already pushing the limits.
We also have the glorious responsibility of preserving the precious treasure that has been left to us. This is also part of our history.
Its tangible values must constantly be reinterpreted, be compared and questioned anew. This is an exacting, abstract process that requires the creative medium of action.
This treasure is our poetic resources, the emotional renewal that will inspire the generations of the future. It cannot simply be passed down but must be ADAPTED, else it will be distorted.
We urge all of those who yearn for adventure to join us.
Within the foreseeable future , we expect to see people freed from their useless chains and turning, in the unexpected manner that is necessary for spontaneity, to resplendent anarchy to make the most of their individual gifts.
Meanwhile we must work without respite, united in spirit with those who long for a better life, without fear of long delays, regardless of praise or persecution, toward the joyful fulfillment of our fierce desire for freedom.”

excerpt from the Global Refusal Manifest, by Paul-Emile Borduas (1948). The Manifest of Les Automatistes.

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