Manuel Gnam Extent

The vitality of man is a very unsettling force that has already overwhelmed many. In the Flowers of Evil, Baudelaire describes lust as an elastic phantom.

One of the reasons why people make art is an excess of energy; and the various forms that emerge from it are often discharges of the same. Sometimes this power is also overstimulated and produces, in an unnatural and perhaps even inhuman overvoltage, an art that keeps people in suspense.

Normally, as Nathalie Sarraute has described, this sudden exuberant urge must be rebalanced with sympathy and tenderness, otherwise there will be a rupture, a rift, and something unexpected and serious would occur – something that has never shown itself before, something terrible.

Man's progressive self-understanding has taught us in the last century to translate that energy directly into cultural expression, to sublimate it, which, funnily enough, has in some way culturally thrown people back to a very bodily approach to art. In particular, the generation of baby boomers, which still has the greatest influence on art and politics until today, was strongly influenced by these ideas, as could be seen in Frank Castorf's "Faust", where older men ride tricycles in sleeveless leather vests.

Young art is often perceived today as something bloodless that lacks the forces of nature and the cosmos. And yet, one can hardly ask to continue to indulge in such a longing for the origin of the species each time the elastic phantom descends upon you. Maybe one could rather isolate this energy, animate the excess and present it as pure potential. I thought of calling this energy Extent.

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