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Creative Commons 2.5

Artwork: "It's Religion That Uses Electronic Machines To Command The Brain"

In Paris Revolts Over Morbid Artwork Alex Duval Smith reports that people are deeply disturbed about a new art exhibit called Plancher de Jeannot (Jeannot's Floorboards) at the Bibliotheque Nationale de Franc. The artwork consists solely of eighty lines of text - there are no images - carved into the floorboards. An excerpt from the floorboards reveals what many consider to be insane perceptions...

plancher de jeannot.jpg
Plancher de Jeannot

"Religion has invented machines for commanding the brain of people and animals and with an invention for seeing our vision through the retina uses us to do ill (...) the church after using Hitler to kill the Jews wanted to invent a trial to take power (...) we Jean Paule are innocent we have neither killed nor destroyed nor hurt others it's religion that uses electronic machines to command the brain."

I am reminded of a line in David Cronenberg's Videodrome: "The television screen is the retina of the mind's eye." Jeannot's comments seem to originate from the same source - the macabre and virulent dimensions of McLuhan's the medium is the message. Even more interesting is that the artwork consist of eighty lines of text all in capitals with no punctuation, but the power of these eighty lines to evoke disturbing thoughts and imagery in the minds of other seems quite potent.

Jeannot suffered from schizophrenia, a brutal form of mental illness. Spokeswoman the Bibliotheque Francois Mitterrand issued the following concern, "The work raises painful questions about whether madness can be artistic. The people who are most upset are those who know Jeannot's story." Of course, and I mean no disrespect to the people who know Jeannot's story, madness and the artistic are often closely related.

Should the artwork remian on exhibit? Of course it should. One of the purposes of art to often to force us to face aspects of life that avoid or simply fail to attend. The artist's perception is not always comfortable, nor should it be.

Part of the issue with the eighty lines of text may be that there are some possibilities lying within them that are too close to the truth. And like art, truth is not always comfortable either. Characterizing religion as a force for the propagation of evil is a recipe for conflict. To deny religiion as potential force for evil, however, is folly. But whether we see truth in Plancher de Jeannot (Jeannot's Floorboards) or not, clearly the eighty lines have embraced the spirit of art. People's perceptions of their world have been challenged.

Translation of Plancher de Jeannot (Jeannot's Floorboards)

The religion invented machines to order the brain of people and animals and with an invention to see our sight starting from retina of the image of the eye misuses us health ideas of family material goods during sleep make us all villainy the Church after having made kill the Jews with Hitler wanted to invent a standard lawsuit and devil so seizing the power of the world and imposing peace on the wars the Church made the crimes and misusing us by electronics making us believe stories and by this faking to misuse our innocent ideas religion could make us show by faking stations listens writes and invent all things that they have years and misusing us by their invention brain ordered and to see our sight has to leave image retina the eye to make us show of what it do to us without our knowledge it is the religion which made all the crimes and damage and villainy us invented of it an unknown program and by machine to order brain and to see our sight image retina eye... making us show to us all naps innocent of any crime wrong to others we Jean Paule we is innocent neither killed neither destroyed nor carries wrong to others it is the religion which invented a lawsuit with electronic machines to order the thought brain sleep diseases brain makes us show crimes that we did not make the proof the popes are called Jean XXIII instead of XXIV for me and Paul VI for Paule the Church wanted to invent a lawsuit and to cover the maquis of the neighbors with machine to order the brain of the world and to see the sight image of the eye makes kill the Jews with Hitler invented
- Rough translation by Bablefish

Related Entries

* Kay Redfield Jamison: An Unquite Mind
* Psychology: Anger, Violence and the daimonic

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