failure: discomfort of hazard and chance

Are the fragments of our lives ruled by laws of random events and unpredictable chance? A single moment can irrevocably alter the course of a life. We are continually shaped by the forces of coincidence.Lifelong certainties about the world can be demolished in an instant. In our dark uncharted world that sometimes rubs into the lower reaches of the fourth dimension, there are beginnings but not always happy endings as we traverse ambiguous psychic boundaries… “The disorganized crime and anarchy of life after the Fall” ( James D. Campbell ) Dark magic and the netherworld; an underworld aura related to the painter’s interest in the mystical realms of the occult, the criminal and the insane.Is running away from yourself a way of staying alive and staying critical and intelligent? Is there comfort in running away from the comfort of boredom? ….

Seguin. Circle of Animals. 2011. Marc Seguin:Are there any dissidents left? Is Michael Moore a dissident because he doesn’t agree with the politics of this country? Or if I go and say I’m not a believer or don’t believe in God or don’t have faith is that making me a dissident? There are so many taboos that have been destroyed - there are no taboos left, really. It’s a big discomfort that everyone has to deal with. Where do we stand? There’s this need to say I’m against this or I’m for this. So food became part of it. I’m not going to eat meat and I’m going to become a vegetarian and use biodiesel, and we transfer it somewhere else. What about human rights? No one believes in human rights anymore. Human rights are the most cynical subject matter of the past decade. It doesn’t exist anymore. Yes, so of course the work questions all of that. Andrei Sakharov was the last dissident that probably this civilization ever encountered. Read More:http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/rackroom/9639-marc-sguin image:http://www.artnet.com/artwork/426121960/423822250/marc-seguin-circle-of-animals.html

The game of art starts when nothing can be explained anymore because bewildering experience reduces one to silence…James Campbell:There is an implacable brutality in his paintings( Marc Seguin) that is reminiscent of Goya’s The Third of May. He has addressed demons running amok in demented, Bosch-like phantasmagorias and human perps like serial killers and the criminally insane alike. But as with Coppola, what his work exposes is greater than just the workings of organized crime. He targets the disorganized crime and anarchy of life after the Fall. Here is the truly human underworld. White is black in this work, and black is white. It’s purely Biblical, even today, and you don’t have to be born-again or have a professional interest in New Covenant Theology to get what he’s on about. Read More:http://www.canadianart.ca/art/features/2010/06/01/ars-diavoli/

Seguin’s work incorporates the chaos of a world “beyond understanding” into a visual art form. There is a feeling of disorder and discontinuity that the modern world generates in all of us that reflects the post-modern central emptiness under the “absent god”. Linear progression, traditional narrative, is disrupted by chance as a way of shattering the power and reason of conventional logic. Jean Baudrillard asserted   that certain phenomena arise that extend or escape our control and therefore “chance” is permitted a certain space to escape responsibility for such phenomena. Its possible that Seguin has in mind the question of responsibility but more likely a wish to express his bewilderment at the sense of contingency, which we are not conscious of, as an eternal present in our lives. The challenge that Seguin places in front of the viewer is to attempt to ascertain whether there is some pattern ruling an endless interplay of disparate events: events which usually  suggest fragmentation, chaos and confusion.

I Love America and America Loves Me. Seguin. ---I think that art became a commodity. I go to these art fairs and I see these worthless objects, aesthetically worthless. They are being sold and bought for huge amounts by people who don’t know about art. Art has a duty to speak about the era that it’s produced in. It has to be a witness of the present times, and it’s not. We’re running away from that. ---Read More:http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/rackroom/9639-marc-sguin image:http://www.artnet.com/artwork/426030069/424471017/marc-seguin-i-love-america-and-america-loves-me-part-3.html

Seguin challenges our quest to determine by rationalizing. There is scant possibility of a solution or knowledge in Seguin’s art.The tension arises from a sense of dislocation between viewer and subject; the near impossibility of finding stability in a world seemingly ruled by random incomprehensible forces and our unstable language used to express what cannot be articulated.  An art that  seems to incarnate the impossibility of knowledge, has to challenge  the standard  legitimizing myths of  the narrative archetypes. This is the speculative unity of knowledge. The destruction  of this smug and comforting unity of all knowing subjects is achieved through the representation of something outside our control, something that destroys the neat and clever ordering of cause and effect: chance.

ADDENDUM:

Art Slant Magazine:
Q: I was struck by the allusions to Romantic portraiture and painting in your work. I was thinking of the Birth of Venus [1863, Alexander Cabanel]…I think it’s interesting to couple your subject matter of youth culture with these Romantic references because those paintings were about the sublime. And today, there’s a postmodern sublime that is often characterized by irony, which you seem to struggle against – thoughts?…

Marc Seguin:Infallibility, or the fact that we’re living in this era where we can’t question what the Roman Catholic church does, but we can question what the Quran says or what the Muslim people do, or the Buddhists or what the Chinese do, but we never question ourselves. Dogma is a very dangerous thing. They’re supposed to stand for modesty, poverty, and whatever, and here they are—posing like peacocks. They’re blown up as these big statues, presenting themselves as bigger than life, or more important than their subjects. Read More:http://www.nyartbeat.com/nyablog/2008/10/death-becomes-him-the-art-of-marc-seguin/

MS: Yes, you’re right. I think (my work) is not cynical at all. It’s not ironic. I think it’s dealing with historical or Classical portraiture, and the grandiose feeling that it brought, being really a snapshot of the era. We had portraits of kings because we worshipped kings. But that’s very symptomatic of the period. Now I am not a king, and I’m painting these guys who are in despair or longing for something. And you know what? I like the fact that it’s romantic. I like it a lot. And I’ll defend that. I’ll stand by that. It’s not cynical and it’s not ironic, or saying something is wrong and I’m laughing at that. It’s historically inscribed. I like historical painting for what it bears or its meaning. When you go to museums and you go to the Louvre or to Washington and you see these extraordinary works, you can get lost. You forget that it’s a painting, that it’s a medium, you forget that the artist wants to instruct. You just look at it and you get lost….

---Using found images culled from the internet, history and text books, Séguin por

s moments in social, political, historical and personal timelines that are marked by the absence of success. From crumbling social institutions to a disintegrating religious authority and a vanished spiritual transcendence in art, Séguin’s work demands that viewers confront humanity’s failure to progress.---Read More:http://www.artprwire.com/post/4016311082/marc-seguin-failures-opening-thursday-6-8-pm

Q: In that sense, it is hopeful. The Romantics were interested in working from an emotional place; you are still using emotion as the basis for an aesthetic experience. But rather than point to some lofty ideal of the body, the bodies are literally elevated, but they are malcontented, subversive. It seems as though you interested in creating an emotional response from the viewer.

MS: Yes. I like listening to you! Yes, you’re right. I want people to have an emotional response. I don’t want it to just be theoretical or something that’s thought of. It has to be something that people can bounce from, and say, hey, there’s something there that is moving me aside from something that’s thought or something that was written saying it’s good or bad art. I want every single individual viewer to be taken somewhere somehow. I think that art should be an emotional experience everywhere, but unfortunately it has become this ironic cynical thing. If there’s one thing I would like to remember from this conversation is that my work is an anti-ironic position, an anti-cynical stand. Read More:http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/rackroom/9639-marc-sguin

Read More:http://samuelthomasmartin.wordpress.com/2010/07/07/marc-seguin/

—That it is indeed, a business. I still consider myself a romantic artist, but it has become (romanticism) a very private thing.
It’s very simple: I make an object, called and agreed on as Art, with social implications, references, wanting it to be meaningful, intelligent and sought after. This is where I stand alone. The rest of it falls into codes that we understand as being a “market”, quite public.—Read More:http://sunriseartists.com/2010/11/01/marc-seguin-interview/
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silence precedes creation. The imagination that bursts out from the presence of extraordinary reality is what is haunting; a reach deep into the depths of his memory in order to find a whole world within the walls of inner self. Memory is an inner myth comprising of endless life stories which come to mind involuntarily, because we cannot order what to remember. Memory also becomes a restructuring of the historical past: as an immersion in the life of others.Since in a world of hazard and chance, character is neither central or stable the only consolation is reinvention. Memory is also a space in which the event happens for the second time.Art is what happens between that second time.  Memory then can be conceived as a voice to one’s inner mind which is not necessarily one’s own; the other.

Read More:http://www.cyberpresse.ca/arts/arts-visuels/201009/11/01-4314673-marc-seguin-le-peintre-des-ruines-modernes.php

Read More:http://books.google.ca/books?id=9Z9biHaoLZIC&pg=PA69&lpg=PA69&dq=baudrillard+chance+culture&source=bl&ots=3LP7f3hspQ&sig=WpYa9_NmDS4T6Z7dJM7DjhBmvSc&hl=en&ei=jNq0TYiYJZGjtgf93tnpDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

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