He Disappeared into Complete Silence - Rereading a Single Artwork by Louise Bourgeois
Laurie Cluitmans & Arnisa Zeqo
Produced in New York in 1947, He Disappeared into Complete Silence signifies Louise Bourgeois’ indepence and personal growth — it reflects her departure from painting and marks her independent stylistic identity in the postwar milieu. Consisting of nine parables and nine engravings, the work creates a universe in which eternal loneliness converges with absurdity and miscommunication, but never with resignation. The parables and etchings articulate witty tragedies from everyday life, to form what could be described as a fragile metaphysics of the human condition.
‘We would like to conceive of this work as an autonomous world in its own right, ‘speaking’ to us in 2011 — it is with this desire in mind that we attempt to recreate Louise Bourgeois’s universe through contemporary art as well as through literature and poetry. The book proposes a new interpretation of that world, via texts and through a photographic reflection on the exhibition that revisited it. Expanding upon our desire, we have aimed to create a lively compendium that incorporates the many different aspects and affinities of contemporary art, which can stimulate an ongoing inter-generational and inter-geographical dialogue.’ Say editors Laurie Cluitmans and Arnisa Zeqo.
The publication, includes original essays by Mieke Bal, Maria Barnas, Lytle Shaw, Robert Storr, Steven ten Thije, and the editors, and features a photographic series by Johannes Schwartz. The coherence of the volume is established by the shared subject matter and interpretative aim: to scrutinize He disappeared into complete silence microscopically and at the same time catapult it into the stars.