At a time when postmodernism is ancient history, when the era of “aftermath” has already had its day, the citation, among other practices of appropriation, has not had its final word: citations are tailored to suit particular needs and references are made at the slightest occasion, as though new ideas and original objects could not move forward without a historical cane. What revolutionary thought so sticks in the craw that it bogs us down in an obsessional relationship to our cultural heritage, to the point that parody has become an academicism? In this context, how can the conscious and automatic norms of citation regain a creative attitude and a critical position? These questions run through the texts assembled in this section, which will later be expanded in the digital edition of La belle revue. Here, artists, theorists, art historians, critics or curators give us their more or less objective version of the facts.
And this was while, last December, the statement of the problematic audibly sighed in the direction of a generation whose historiographic ambition was compromised in a melancholy of modernism – in other words, while our thoughts were of wrack and ruin, authors were presenting us with the allegory of Babybels and Y-fronts. By examining the re-staging of a Dieter Roth installation by Jason Rhoades, Camille Paulhan evaluates the end of the grand narratives smelling of cheese. As for François Trahais, he reads the comical parodies of his masters by Martin Kippenberger as the announcement of the end of the modern adventure “in good humour”. While a plethora of artworks bear witness to their seriousness through obligatory references to Derrida, Foucault or Deleuze, Ingrid Luquet-Gad’s essay develops a compensatory critique of the phenomenon by questioning the very displacement of French Theory into the fine arts. The relationship between philosophical and plastic productions should be considered differently in the digital age. François Aubart suggests establishing a typology of manipulators of signs, against the yardstick of the amplified traffic of images on the internet. The widespread practice of appropriation and subversion of the photographic image that, the author recalls, developed simultaneously in the field of art and in advertising, means that the critical and poetic intentions of these forms must be distinguished. A notorious devotee of remixes, Mark Leckey is Céline Poulin’s subject of study. By examining the retrospective organised at Wiels in 2014, her text analyses a production method in which editing is limited to the “transubstantiation of sources” in a sensual conception of the digital, auratic version of the copy, in which a thin membrane separates the virtual from fiction. Elsewhere, somewhere in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, the Hippolyte Hentgen duo tells stories to avoid theorising their practice. They draw, build sets and write scenarios of performances with songs in mind and films that emerge from their memory. Dialogues and lyrics also cross the mind of Lidwine Prolonge in her daily life, as soon as she opens her mouth or picks up a pen. The distinction between the authentic, invented or self-referential citation is no longer relevant. At this point, intertextuality has become an interstice, a porous boundary that, when one is as close possible to it (within a margin of under one percent) any statement must accept the risk of a leap into fiction.