es Statues Also Die is a French documentary short film directed by Chris Marker, Alain Resnais and Ghislain Cloquet released in 1953. Artistic Advisor: Charles Ratton.
It was sponsored by the Pan-African journal Presence Africaine. Starting from the question "Why art negro is there at the Museum of Man while Greek or Egyptian art is the Louvre? ', Both filmmakers denounced the lack of consideration for African art in a context of colonization. The film was censored in France for eight years because of his views anti-colonialist.
"When men are dead, they make history. When the statues are dead, they enter into art. This Botanical death is what we call culture.
Because the people of the statues is mortal. One day, our stony faces break down in turn. A civilization is leaving behind traces such as mutilated stones of Tom Thumb, but history has eaten everything. An object is dead when the living gaze which rested on him has disappeared, and when we lost our items will go where we send those negroes in the museum.
Art negro. We look as if it was his purpose in the pleasure it gives us. The intentions of the negro who created the emotions of the negro who looks at it, it eludes us. Because they are written into the woods, we take their ideas for statues, and we find the picturesque where a member of the black community sees the face of a culture.
It is her smile she looks at Reims, the sign of a lost unity when art was the guarantor of an agreement between man and the world. This is the sign of seriousness that left him, beyond the mixing and the slave ships, the old land of the ancestors: Africa.
Here is the first partition of the Earth. Here are the fetus in the world. This is the eleventh century Africa. Twelfth. Fifteenth. Seventeenth. From age to age, while its shape was emerging slowly, Africa was already in the land of enigmas. Black was already the color of sin. The accounts of travelers spoke of monsters, flames, evil apparitions. Already the white cast on the Black his own demons to purify themselves. And yet, when beyond the deserts and forests, believed to address the kingdom of Satan, the traveler discovered nations, palaces.
What music rocked the little princess, this little orange matured in the cellars of Benin? What cult presided over this small republic of the night? We do not know. These empires are the kingdoms most deaths in history. Contemporary of St. Louis, Joan of Arc, they are more unknowns that we Sumer and Babylon. In the last century, the flames of conquerors have done everything spent absolute enigma. Black on black, niggers fight in the mists of time, the wreck has left us only these fine-ribbed wrecks we've interviewed.
But if history is a mystery, their shapes are not foreign to us. After the strips, monsters, Atreus helmeted Benin, clothing the people of Greece on insects, here are the Apollos Ife we care too familiar language. And it rightly draws the Black pride of a civilization as old as ours. Our ancestors looked in the face without lowering their empty eyes. But in this brotherhood of death is not enough, it's much closer to us than we will find the true negro art, one that confounds us.
The puzzle, now it begins here with this poor art, the art of hardwood, this dish to divination by example. We do not serve much good to call religious object in a world where everything is religion, or art object in a world where everything is art. Art here, begins and ends with a spoon to the statue. And it's the same art. We know an art where the ornament of a useful article, as the headrest, and the beauty of the statue do not belong to two different orders. Here, this difference falls when we look closely. A chalice is not an art object is an object of worship. This timber is a chalice. Everything here is of world religion.
When it relies on the seat of man's feet, Black creates a kind in his image. Therefore, all objects are sacred because all creation is sacred. She recalls the creation of the world and continues. The activity most humble assistance to an entire world where everything is, where the man says his reign on things, in their print brand and sometimes his face. Animal forms, as in this coil weaving, plant forms, like those boxes for cosmetics, all creation passes under the fingers of the black artist. God showed him the way he imitates God and thus to turn it invents Rights.
Guardians of tombs of the dead guards, guard dogs of the invisible, the statues of ancestors to form a cemetery. We put our dead on goods to prevent them from leaving. The Negro keeps them close to him to honor them and enjoy their power, in a basket filled with their bones. Is that the dead shall all wisdom and safety. They are the roots of living. And their eternal face sometimes takes the form of root.
These roots are flourishing. The beauty of involuntary animals and plants illuminate the face of a young girl, and we may well take its light for a smile, even when its oil for a tear and move us, as long as you know that these images we know, that 'they are from another world, we have nothing to do in these confabulations of ancestors who are not ours. We want to see suffering, serenity, humor, when we do not know. Colonizers of the world, we want everything we speak, animals, the dead, statues, these statues and then were silent. They have mouths and do not speak, they are the eyes and do not see us. And they are not idols, instead of toys, toys seriously, but only as good as what they represent. There are anywhere from less than idolatry in our statues of saints adore these dolls tough person. The statue negro is not god, it is prayer. Prayer for motherhood, fertility for women, for the beauty of children, it can be covered with ornaments that have the value of illumination, it can be as frustrating as this ball of earth to protect the harvest, or link the earth to death, by the shape and material.
This world is the strict, everything has its place. These heads do not have to be scary, they have to be fair, but look at their scars well, where the magnetic field come to take all forms of heaven and earth. The object does not need to exist and serve, this overflow of creation, which lays its signs as shells on the smooth wall of the statue is an overflow of imagination, is freedom: wheel the sun, the flower knot, bend water, forks of trees are deployed one after another, technology mix, wood subtly mimics the fabric, the fabric takes its grounds to the earth, one realizes that this creation has no limits, everything communicates, and that these planets in these atoms, the rigor of this world closes in turn the world of beauty.
God made these gestures, the god who has woven this flesh taught him to turn to weave the cloth, and his actions every second refers to the weaving of the world and the world is the canvas of the gods when they took the Man. Try to distinguish here what is the earth and what is the canvas, which is black skin and what is the earth from a plane, which is the bark of the tree and that of the statue. Here man is never separated from the world, the same force fed to all fibers, these fibers including the first man sacrilege, lifting the skirts of the earth, discovered the dead.
Masks of animals, masks of men, one participant masks and other masks-houses, masks, faces, rivers Pierrot, Harlequin Forest, these masks are fighting against death. They reveal what she wants to hide. Because the familiarity of the dead leads to tame death, to govern by means of spells, to transmit, to be charmed by the magic shells. And capture the witch is the mirror image of that country to death, where you're going to lose the memory. But winning the body, death can do nothing against the life force in every being sparse and composed his double. During life, it sometimes takes the double form of the shadow or reflection in the water and drowned a man to have been shot there. But death is not only something that is also undergoing something you give.
Here is the death of an animal. Where is the force that lived in this hand? She is free now, it lurks, it will haunt the living until we collect in its former appearance. To it is for the blood of the sacrifice and the one that is fixed in these legendary metamorphosis to appease, to make these faces victorious repair the fabric of the world.
And then they die in their turn. Classified, labeled, preserved in ice from windows and collections, they enter the art history, paradise of forms, which established the most mysterious parentage. We recognize Greece in a head Africa 2000 years old. Japan in a mask of the Ogooué. And yet India, the Sumerian idols, Christ story, or our modern art.
But at the same time he makes his claim to fame, art negro becomes a dead language, and what is not born on his jargon of decadence. To follow the religious requirement to commercial demand, and since the buyer is white, as demand exceeds supply because to go fast, negro art becomes native handicrafts. We manufacture thousands of replicas of these increasingly degraded beautiful figures invented by African culture. Here the tool popularized the technique impoverishes, the country where all forms served, where the grace of a curve was a declaration of love to the world, an art bazaar acclimatized. These fake jewelry, the explorers offered to appease the wild, we here that the negro makes. At the special beauty of art is replaced by a negro general ugliness. An art in which objects become knickknacks, a cosmopolitan art, an art vase of flowers, paperweights, pen and remember where we see transparency in the tower of Babel. A portraiture also now unable to express the essence, the sculptor makes up on the resemblance, we taught him not to carve away the tip of his nose. But what we do disappear from Africa hardly counts for us more than we do appear.
Is that we are the Martians from Africa. We land on our planet with the way we see with our white magic and with our machines. We heal the Black's disease is certain, he catches us, it is also certain. He loses or wins the exchange, his art in any case does not survive. The magic intended to protect when he died on his behalf is without power when he died for us. Between the Christian heaven and immortality secular, worship of ancestors evaporates. The memorial replaces the funerary statue. All this is dominated by the white man who sees things from his height and rises above the contradictions of reality. From this height appears orderly Africa, already covered model villages, full of concrete igloos as white blood cells of civilization. From this height, Africa is a wonderful laboratory where pre-manufacture patiently for the right type of Negro dreamed of by the good white.
While all the apparatus of protection that gave meaning and shape to the negro art disintegrates and disappears. It's the white man who claims to ensure the role of ancestors, the real statue of protection, exorcism and fertility, now is his silhouette. Everything conspires against the negro art. Taken as a clamp between Islam enemy images, and Christianity-burning of idols, African culture is collapsing. To renew the Church seeks a mixing: Black-Christian art. But each of the two influences destroys the other. And the marriage failed lost to Catholicism in Africa, its luxuriance, its brightness, just this side negro precisely what one recognizes in Europe.
The temporal powers practicing the same austerity, all that was a pretext for a work of art is replaced, whether it's clothing, symbolic gesture, the gri-gri, or palaver. It says "yes yes yes, sometimes they say" no. " This is the black artist who says it. Then a new art form appears: the art of combat. Art of transition for a period of transition. Art of the present, between a lost grandeur and another to conquer. Interim Art, whose ambition is not to endure but to testify. Here the problem of the subject does not arise.
The subject is the land naturally unpleasant, distressing and of course the climate in there work, at a vast scale, the pace of the factory facing one of nature Ford at Tarzan. The subject is crippled black man of his culture and no contact with ours. His work has extended over spiritual or social, it opens at all, it leads to nothing, he has a pittance. In these countries the gift and exchange, we enter the money. We buy his work at Black and his work is degraded, we buy his art and his art is degraded, the religious dance becomes a show, you pay the negro to give us the comedy of his joy and fervor. And so, next to the negro-slave, a second figure appears: the negro-horn. Its strength serves us, amuses us his address, incidentally it serves us well. Nations with racist traditions are quite natural to entrust the care of colored men of their Olympic glory. But a Black man in motion is still art negro, and in sport, the Black can find, until something better, a good field to fool the pride of the White.
Le Blanc does not always understand the joke. He sometimes yell "Thumb" when things go wrong. A negro boxer is allowed to correct a white man in a country marked by racism Hitler, he demonstrates moves insults, threats and missiles he had better stay in his place. When it is not for play, for example when the Black blends the struggles of labor, that with gunfire and truncheons as the demonstration takes place. This climate of harassment and threats led the artist to a new negro metamorphosis, and the ring or in his orchestra, his role is to make the blows received by his brother in the street.
Here we are far from the appearance of negro art. Art communion art of invention what has he in common with this world of loneliness and the machine? The man who put his stamp on things done now empty gestures. For out of the depths of this loneliness that will create a new community. The negro art was an instrument of willingness to enter the world is the same desire that survives here in other forms. Watch out this technique freed man of magic. She sometimes has a strange relationship with her gestures. It is always against death we are fighting. Science as magic recognizes the necessity of sacrificing the animal, the virtue of blood, setting the evil forces. The sorcerer captures still images, and death is still a country where we are going to lose the memory.
No, we're not locking in a Black quits his fame, and nothing would prevent us from being all the heirs of two past if this equality is found in the present. At least she is prefigured by the only equality that no hassle to anyone, that of repression. Because there is no break between the African civilization and ours. Faces of the fallen negro art of the same human face, like the skin of the snake. Beyond their dead forms, we recognize that promise common to all great cultures of a victorious man of the world. And white or black, our future is made that promise. "