Aesthetica Preprint, 39 (December 1993)

Aldo Marroni, Pierre Klossowski and the artistic communication

On approaching the multiform work of Pierre Klossowski, the author cannot help but ask himself the following questions: what is the actual status of Klossowski's notion of the simulacrum? Is his thought the product of solitary lucubration driven to the point of exasperation or does it have a valid external referent? That is to say: does it tend to be disembodying, as for example, in Georges Bataille, or does it convey a tendency towards incarnation? Does a certain level of experience actually exist whereby such incarnational tendency employs, as its own instruments, the codes, current institutional and conventional stereotypes in order to activate a strategy of penetration and not one of deterioration and negation? Klossowski is an intellectual who defies any definition. Is he a novelist, a philosopher, an artist or an erotomaniac? None of the above: he is a self-proclaimed monomaniac. The monomaniac, that is to say, a person who is possessed by a single passion, a kind of "unique brand", has the highly commendable task of divulging to society (that is the world of conventional codes) which is in turn characterized by a spiritual monotony and by a refusal to accept what is foreing both to itself and to its subjectivist vision, that selfsame sign which in a benign manner dominates it. In fact, when the soul is empty, when it is not in the throes of a devastating power, only then is it said to be sick. But how can the monomaniac enable his "brand" to move and act through conventional customs? How can this way of being reach the public? How can it become, at the same time, operational as the law of hospitality?
According to the author, the path undertaken by Klossowski is diametrically opposed to the interiorization and spiritualization of lived experience. The monomaniac does not disembody his perversion but tends towards the external: eroticism and the theatrically spectacular dramaturgy of the "tableaux vivants". There is absolutely nothing mysterious to demystify. There is simply the repeated attempt to experience and understand diverse ways of doing things; to find a level of institutionalized expression already accepted and consolidated in society. This belongs to the world of conventional signs: artistic production, the movie screen and creative writing.
This research was undertaken in order to verify and ascertain the aesthetic and artistic merits of Klossowski who, from the 1970's has consacrated his activities exclusively to the creation of "tableaux vivants", which represent the conventional, institutionalized means of embodying in the concrete world that "god-given" brand or sign received by the monomaniac.