Beyond Gestures
What Art Can Learn from Poetry

Delphine Chapuis-Schmitz
Zurich University of the Arts

In 1897, the French poet Stéphane Mallarmé published a ground breaking text entitled Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hasard (1897), which opened the space and realm of action of poetic creation. The artist Delphine Chapuis-Schmitz takes this radical gesture as a starting point to explore the joint process of liberation and incorporation that such disruptive gestures have both generated and been engulfed in within in the 20th century. In order to find a viable alternative to the neutralisation of the radical gesture in our contemporary global media societies, Chapuis-Schmitz conveys the re-reading of Mallarmé’s ‘dice throw’ by the Belgium poet turned visual artist Marcel Broodthaers. Through Broodthaers, a path can be found towards another understanding of gestures, that leads away from the banalization of the disruptive to an empowerment of the reader. Such empowerment is to bring a welcomed proliferation of readings as situated re-enactments of the original text, thereby proposing alternatives to the dominant narratives, and outlining a hopeful emancipatory horizon for our collective future.

KEYWORDS: Disruption, gestures, resistance, poetry, reading, re-reading

Download PDF

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.