Artists – or were they shamans? – always maintained a rich dialogue with the invisible. These intercessors would, in this way, give form to that which was “beyond,” beyond life, beyond the world of men, beyond time, beyond meaning. And this form would end up taking on the most sacred character possible, making it impossible to tell if such a work was more a part of the answer or the question. Unless the two are forever intertwined.
These cosmogonic or religious aspirations essentially came, however, from collective mythologies. Yet modern societies have since allowed for the emergence of artists liberated from certain normative constraints. This, as individuals are emancipated, all the more so when they are inhabited by a feverish alterity. Brut artists are made of this metal alloy, from which the most fascinating individual mythologies possible get forged.
Whatever their motivations may be, the elsewhere that they call forth, that they interpret, requires new languages, new forms, new laws. They know full well that in order to reach what is beyond us, one must go beyond the self, beyond reason itself.
Keeping to the confines of the visible and the invisible, in the thickness of the mirror, the basis of humanity takes a new turn. New potentialities appear when life and death are unseparated, when we are no longer the only ones crossing paths with our destinies in the universe, when the imagination, as Einstein used to say, “takes you where you want.”
Ufologists, mystics, cosmogonists, spiritualists, demiurges, metaphysicians, they all take part in this enterprise of reenchanting the world through art: “Whether they are mediums, clairvoyants, visionaries, the authors of Art Brut are attached to piercing the mysteries of this simultaneously fascinating and frightening transcendence using their technique and their art. Mysterium tremendum et fascinans.” (Philippe Baudouin).
Beyond – unhindered by its article – not only exceeds our relationship to the divine, but allows us to reconnect to the genesis of the creative act, the fabrication of an object neither entirely cultish, nor entirely cultural, and which, when it doesn’t resolve the mystery, makes it visible.