May 14th and 15th from 3.30 to 6.30 pm


Schwitters’s face in relation to the pictures of his contemporaries; the catalogue of types; Schwitter’s anti-intellectualism; inebriation; the spread of life; NON-noli me tangere; pictures of the artist as lover, partner, thief and player; The Man I Love + I’ve Got a Crush on You.


Love with the body/corpus of artists from the past and their artworks, can only occur through a metaphor. The melancholy that gets hold of us, being we vampirized by immortal ghosts from the history of art, will find a solution within allegory. For those of the Avant-gardes, who were contemporaries of Schwitters, the first available allegory of the body/corpus are the photographs, which grasped their presence in the daily moment: mark of an existence that never ceases to transmit sense, between historic body and linguistic body. This second part of the workshop focused on the rich iconographic material selected by Arianna Desideri, on which a research of seductive details of various artists’ bodies between 1910 and 1930 was carried out, towards a metonymic embrace with those ghosts: the elegant and thin ankle of Kandinskij; the frightened look of the tender ox Picabia; the big and dark pupils of Dulac; the majestic breast of Stein; the scowling lips of Tzara; the pretty little face of El Lissitzky.

Dozens of love letters have been dedicated to these fragments (see ks6: Conversation II). Letters were taken from the internet and modified through the insertion of a speech related to an elusive love story with an imaginary artwork and artists of the Avant-gardes. The Man I Love is the song that characterized workshop 2. Love expectation is the theme of the song lyrics; therefore, it is not a love that is already present and in progress, but instead an imagined love. Imagination of the love object, a sign of romantic sentimentality, corresponds to the distancing of the object, through the production of images which contain it and trap it, at the time we see it acting, at some point in the future that certainly will come. And what is the fate of this construction? Will its powerful ultra-definition maybe be capable of overlapping reality completely, making it a passive slave of illusion? Are we dealing with a theatrical script for which we have to find the interpreters; or is romantic imagination already the structuration of reality through dream?


photos: Tommaso Mlynarczyk



Provisional list of seductive parts mostly in the faces

of artists of the historical Avant-Garde


The monocle of Tristan Tzara

The strabismus of Tristan Tzara

The protruding ears of Tristan Tzara

The alluring lips of Tristan Tzara

The hands of Hugo Ball

The dark circles of Hugo Ball

The look that gives and the look that takes away of Hugo Ball

The wavy hair of Richard Huelsenbeck

The full lips of Richard Huelsenbeck

The eyebrow of Hans Arp

The half-closed lips of Hans Arp

The corners of the lips of Hans Arp

The woollen jacket of Hans Arp

The protruding veins of George Grosz

The boxer nose of George Grosz

The knees of George Grosz

The hips of George Grosz

The chin of George Grosz

The orbicular zone of John Heartfield

The uncombed eyebrows of John Heartfield

The Cupid’s bow of Raoul Hausmann

The nasolabial folds of Raoul Hausmann

The wrinkles of the marionette of Raoul Hausmann

The cleft of Hans Richter

The hand with the cigar of Hans Richter

The half-smile of Hans Richter

The way of dressing of Hans Richter

The bowtie of Hans Richter

The palpebral depth of Max Ernst

The jawline of Max Ernst

The pointed ears of Max Ernst

The Adam’s apple of Max Ernst

The nose of André Breton

The underlip of André Breton

The orbicular zone of Francis Picabia

The vigorous chest of Francis Picabia

The cowlick in the hair of Francis Picabia

The thick neck of Francis Picabia

The irregular lips of Francis Picabia

The coat collar of Marcel Duchamp

The Cupid’s bow of Marcel Duchamp

The profile of Marcel Duchamp

The radiant cheekbone of Marcel Duchamp

The forehead of Marcel Duchamp

The haircut of Marcel Duchamp

The dark circles of Man Ray

The unibrow of Man Ray

The dishevelled hair of Sergei Eisenstein

The broad forehead of Sergei Eisenstein

The moustache of Salvador Dalì

The drooping eyelid of Salvador Dalì

The hair grease of Salvador Dalì

The glasses of Piet Mondrian

The chin of Piet Mondrian

The fingers of Piet Mondrian

The tight lips of Piet Mondrian

The upper-lip of Theo van Doesburg

The loose shirt of Theo van Doesburg

The hat of El Lissitzky

The polka dot tie of El Lissitzky

The coat of El Lissitzky

The little face of El Lissitzky

The wrinkles of Kazimir Malevič

The thin lips of Kazimir Malevič

The eye area of Kazimir Malevič

The white lock of hair of László Moholy-Nagy

The jawline of László Moholy-Nagy

The glasses of László Moholy-Nagy

The hand of László Moholy-Nagy

The slippers of Vasilij Kandinskij

The ankle of Vasilij Kandinskij

The crossed legs of Vasilij Kandinskij

The moustache of Vasilij Kandinskij

The hairstyle of Vasilij Kandinskij

The heart-shaped lips of Vasilij Kandinskij

The eyeballs of Vasilij Kandinskij

The shirt collar of Vasilij Kandinskij

The chapped lips of Paul Klee

The pupils of Paul Klee

The moist eyes of Paul Klee

The homemade haircut of Paul Klee

The hole on the forehead of Paul Klee

The alopecia on the beard of Paul Klee

The tuft of hair of Pablo Picasso

The rhombus-shaped ears of Pablo Picasso

The protruding eyes of Pablo Picasso

The cod eyes of Pablo Picasso

The well-formed nose of Pablo Picasso

The disproportionate nostrils of Gino Severini

The bowler hat of Gino Severini

The upset pout of Gino Severini

The uptight vibe of Gino Severini

The black eyes of Carlo Carrà

The swollen lips of Carlo Carrà

The shadow between the lips of Carlo Carrà

The dramatic look of Carlo Carrà

The slicked-back hair of Carlo Carrà

The button on the waistcoat of Carlo Carrà

The gnarled hands of Henri Matisse

The inquisitive look of Henri Matisse

The striped tie of Henri Matisse

The cigarette of Jean Cocteau

The soft hair of Jean Cocteau

The long and bony fingers of Jean Cocteau

The harmonious lips of Jean Cocteau

The irregular ear of Alfred Stieglitz

The dishevelled hairlocks of Alfred Stieglitz

The turned-up collar of Alfred Stieglitz

The old-fashioned whiskers of Alfred Stieglitz

The puppy dog face of Alfred Stieglitz

The innkeeper face of André Derain

The swollen eyes of André Derain

The stubby hands of André Derain

The grooves between the eyebrows of Andrè Derain

The pointy nose of Charles Demuth

The deep ear of Charles Demuth

The shaded side whisker of Charles Demuth

The shirt collar of Charles Demuth

The closed lips of Claude Cahun

The shiny pupils of Claude Cahun

The plastic clavicle of Claude Cahun

The protruding shoulder blades of Claude Cahun

The manicured fingernails of Dora Maar

The long face of Dora Maar

The wide cheek of Dora Maar

The crocheted bowtie of Egon Schiele

The hoopoe head of Egon Schiele

The lower lip of Egon Schiele

The square head of Fernand Léger

The nasolabial grooves of Fernand Léger

The silent glance of Fernand Léger

The light-hearted laughter of Fernand Léger

The middle parting of the hair of Fernand Léger

The shaving of Fernand Léger

The fine wrinkles of Frantisek Kupka

The broad forehead of Frantisek Kupka

The spotted skin of Frantisek Kupka

The gentle face of Georges Braque

The pinky ring of Georges Braque

The soft hair of Georges Braque

The glassy eyes of Georges Braque

The hairstyle of Germaine Dulac

The relaxed smile of Germaine Dulac

The round cheekbones of Germaine Dulac

The covered ears of Germaine Dulac

The big lids of Germaine Dulac

The round face of Gertrud Arndt

The protruding eyes of Gertrud Arndt

The straw hat of Gertrud Arndt

The wrinkles on the neck of Gertrud Arndt

The flourishing skin of Gertrud Arndt

The majestic bosom of Gertrude Stein

The plump hand of Gertrude Stein

The long ears of Gertrude Stein

The dignified look of Gertrude Stein

The updo of Sonia Delaunay

The glowing skin of Sonia Delaunay

The prominent eyebrows of Sonia Delaunay

The little hat of Sophie Taeuber Arp

The big incisors of Sophie Taeuber Arp

The sharp smile of Sophie Taeuber Arp

The poker-straight hair of Sophie Taeuber Arp

The cheerful air of Sophie Taeuber Arp

The fur collar of Filippo De Pisis

The thick eyebrow of Filippo De Pisis

The wide temples of Filippo De Pisis

The sweet look of Filippo De Pisis

The chubby cheeks of Filippo De Pisis

The shyness of Filippo De Pisis

The right eye of Luis Buñuel

The left eye of Luis Buñuel



(while walking in Villa Borghese, with slightly labored breathing)

Ghosts, each has its own . . . Ghost is a formation of thought that arises between my subject and the concreteness of reality. But, mind you, not just between me as a body and the concreteness of reality, but instead, between me as a subject — that is, between me as part of a linguistic level — and the concreteness of reality. Ghost is not dependent on my body. Ghost is dependent on the relationship that is established between my language and the world. This is ghost. So there is no ghost if there is no linguistic level; but neither do I exist if there is no linguistic level. At this point, it is clear that the relationship is threefold, if not four. And therefore: language, subject, that is, the linguistic level, ghost, that is, the image between language and world, and then the world — which is the least conceivable aspect, since world is always seen through something else, and you never know when language ends and world begins. So ghost is like a kind of nail that grows to our thoughts. Thought gets its nails getting ghosts. And when thought must defend itself from the attack of a reality that we can not explain to ourselves, or that makes us suffer, then ghosts intervene to scratch reality, protecting us from reality. So we have an extraordinary need for ghosts, because ghosts are our company in the solitude of language, in our solitude as subjects, as mere definitions of ourselves, names we have, what we are in the eyes of others. Ghosts are the ones protects us. Thinking that Schwitters is a ghost means resorting to the intimate bond that is established between my being language and the world that hosts me. Schwitters is not a guide, he is not a father, fathers are like us, fathers do not exist, fathers are simply … no, end of the discourse on fathers, which takes us nowhere, let’s stop here.

We should now investigate the relationship between ghost and artwork, as the definition of ghost is given in Freud and Lacan, maybe. So, in what sense can artwork be a ghost, or a nail of thought, or an imaginative formation that is not yet real, not never-yet real, that is, which is always close to becoming reality but cannot become reality, since reality is denied to it. So the artwork must be the previous step to reality, yet always and always the constant promise of reality. This is ghost, this is artwork. That is, artwork is the presence that constantly deludes us about its concrete possibility. It is sufficient to fall asleep and end up in the universe of dreams, in the level of dreams, where we are pure language, and we are at the mercy of our linguisticity… it is sufficient to arrive at this level, to gets confused and be able to believe that ghost is here, right next to us. Awakening is breaking away from this level, becoming aware that there is something that goes beyond the linguistic level, although we are unable to understand where this ‘beyond’ is, and that ghost is not there, it is not beside us. So, sadly true, I can’t caress Schwitters’ face, I can’t hug him, I can’t — speaking of artwork — I can’t really participate in the sense of artwork. This does not exist, it is pure illusion … But what is it now … Now the question would be: what is the dream level of artwork, i.e. what is the level at which artwork is closer to its truth, its pseudo reality, what is this moment of my perception, of my cultural, social, psychic state, when I think… I am convinced that artwork is here, is part of me, that I am part of it. Where is the dream in which artwork cancels … (there was a dog) … What is the dream in which artwork cancels its difference from reality.

If I stand in front of Schwitters face and can’t kiss it because that face is only a piece of paper, and therefore the moment I kissed the piece of paper, I should be aware that I am not kissing Schwitters face, but I’m kissing a piece of paper on which Schwitters ‘face is drawn, on which it is drawn, in the true sense that the more I kiss this piece of paper, the more Schwitters’ face with-draws itself from me, in a distance that is the distance between my lips and his ghost, between my body and the being-ghost of Schwitters… But where does this Schwitters ghost live? Schwitters ghost inhabits my thought, because it is the nail of my thought, it is the crust of my thought, the one that grows … the one that: the more I think, the more it grows, pointing towards something that is foreign to me, as well as my fingernails, fingernails of my body point against objects that are far from me.

So when, kissing the postcard, I realize my distance from Schwitters face, from Schwitters ghost, I am realizing my distance from my own thoughts, from the nail of my own thoughts, in fact the distance of my body from the nail of my thoughts. I must take note of this distance, I must be aware that within me there are ghosts, which are the nails of my thoughts, and that these ghosts are at a certain distance from me, and yet within me. I can invoke them, I can dream of them. When I dream, of course, I can cancel the linguistic distance, let’s say the distance between matter and language. In the dream I can forget to have a body, I can make myself naturally … that is unconsciously … I can normally transform myself into language and ghost too, and copulate with the nail of my thoughts, suck it, that is copulate with the ghost. This is what is given to me. I can’t do anything different. I can’t … My only chance is to surrender to the linguisticity of the ghost, to get to his territory, to his ground, since he will never arrive on my ground. On the ground where I am now, I am walking in Villa Borghese, in the middle of the trees, I am going to school, I am going to lecture, my back is sweaty because it is getting hot …

There were many postcards and some were very beautiful. There was a Duchamp Boîte-en-valise as well … Duchamp, I pretended not to know him, I didn’t even give him a look, I didn’t want Kurt to think I had had anything to do with Duchamp, not really … What I mentally repeated to myself was: I never knew Duchamp, I never knew Matisse, I never knew Degas, I never knew Manet, I never knew Ingres above all, I I never knew Géricault, I never knew Titian, I never knew Rembrandt, I never knew Caravaggio, I never knew Raphael, I never knew Giotto, I never knew anyone … I am a virgin, Kurt … Can you see how virgin I am? I am all yours….

(translated by P.P.)