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The Long Voyage
Michèle Bernstein
pre-situationist archive

1960

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Translated by Phil Edwards and Not Bored!

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EVERYBODY KNOWS Asger Jorn. He's the best of painters. What's more,
he has done everything. He has made marvels: that is to say, innovations
everywhere. We are even beginning to discover, and henceforth those
behind the times will soon be forced to realize, his decisive contribution to
the new urbanism and to the creation of a situationist topology. Not to
mention his detourned painting, which is quite another thing from ordinary
painting; several hundred pages of aesthetic studies, from which aesthetics
will never recover; and the biggest ceramic sculpture in the world. And,
naturally, tapestry. Asger Jorn has never stopped making paintings, despite
doing everything else.
Thus, he has succeed in bringing a revolutionary modernization to even the
most traditional, the most outdated, artistic technique — and this at the
moment when, in the techniques that claim to be painting's most advanced,
we see the base Feudal-Christian tradition express itself without shame,
reactionary forces raising their head.
Jorn's work in tapestry owes much to the initial revelations of — and
thereafter to Jorn's personal collaboration with — Pierre Wemaere. It is
surprising, moreover, that the importance of Pierre Wemaere in this matter
is a long way from receiving the recognition that would be appropriate. In
fact it was in 1938, in the course of a trip through the Scandinavian
countries he made with Jorn, that Wemaere glimpsed the possibilities of
renewal contained in the ancient tapestries of Northern Europe. And since
then, their collective work has constantly developed. Their original
conception of material fabrication, which maintains the creative freedom of
the performer, has now produced this workshop of a new style, installed for
the moment in Paris, on the Rue Saint-Denis, out of which comes "The
Long Voyage".
Within a durable form — and one that stinks of the museum — one can see
quite clearly in tapestry the ancient lineage of two structures of
communication very much alive today: the art of comics, and the art of
cinema, in their permanent interaction. Tapestry is the comics that have
stood the test of time: the tracking shot that does not pass.
"The Long Voyage" is more than fourteen meters long and twenty-four
meters high. This experiment, which came from the North, will return there:

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8/21/14 3:50 PM

or in the labyrinths of everyday life. the School of the Look will lay down its arms when it looks at the complexity of this tapestry. In brief. 1955. all the techniques of the nouveau roman could not encompass this ensemble. for sure). is what explains Jorn best. so that it bursts into sight with the traditional presentation of the plastic arts that. Thus. the displacement of the Frontier. "The Long Voyage" will become visible for the occasion. which has passed away without a thought of coming back. which is the uneasy transposition of aggressive class and race domination into space. Jorn looks like the painter of Science Fiction — UFO. Inheritor of revolutionary universalism. Jorn's work is beautiful. between continents or galaxies. it can be read in either direction. 2 of 2 8/21/14 3:50 PM . in the West. renewing a Viking tradition. It is the flight of nebulae. in every direction of an expanding tapestry. "The Long Voyage" is also a story. it is the story of a hero (Asger Jorn.Situationist International Online http://www. is now always permanent. unite!" The long voyage is not finished. it is the flight of the days from every moment and from all coasts. But. Jorn has insisted that the tapestry remains covered until then.edu/sionline/si/longvoyage. in his voyage across life. of course. contrary to the general spirit of this genre.cddc. as in the design that Jorn and Wemaere had seen in Bornholm during the course of their trip: there is no orientation. starting from a center that is not otherwise defined.vt. having discovered America. lost it again. Anyone who doesn't like Jorn's work is wrong. no compass. the traveling creatures encountered in Jorn's paintings are well met. Travelling. The theme of "The Long Voyage" is precisely the Viking adventure. Jorn is the first to proclaim the fraternal slogan: "Monsters of all planets. In his n-dimensional continuum (the dimension of time is the funniest and the most beautiful). like the painting in a Chinese roll. Unidentified Flying Objects." with the cowboys from the Westerns. an odyssey without an Ithaca and without a return. it will be moved to the University of Aarhus. The tapestry also has Danish fog and the trumpeters of Fortinbras. "The Long Voyage" is a eulogy of exile and head-long flight. like those explorers who. And America reappears in "The Long Voyage.html come the holidays.