Paris Post War: Art and existentialism 1945-55

The time has come to be hard, I must turn to stone.

To exist in times of misfortune, menaced, unyielding, to face up to discouraging eventualities, and therefore retreat into one's inner depths - nothing can better satisfy the excesses of desire.

Excessive voluptuousness enlarges the heart, devastates it and forces it to become hard. It is the unlimited exigency of desire that gives the human heart its astonishing audacity.

Exhausted by paroxysms of pleasure or morally elated, you entice life away from the pusillanimous delays.

From L'Aleluiah A Blaizot by Jean Fautrier and Georges Bataille (Paris 1947). Trans: Barbara Wright.

Paris Post War: Art and Existentialism 1945-55 at the Tate Gallery until 5 September.

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