By Alain Badiou
Who has now not had the scary event of stumbling round within the pitch black? As a toddler, Alain Badiou went via it whilst he, in addition to neighbors, made up a online game referred to as “On the stroke of midnight.” The furtive discovery of the darkish continent of intercourse in banned magazines, the wonderful thing about black ink on paper, but additionally the mysteries of the universe and the grief of mourning: those are many of the issues we come across because the thinker takes us on a visit in the course of the deepest theater of his brain, on the whim of his thoughts. tune, portray, politics, intercourse, and metaphysics: all give a contribution to creating black extra luminous than it has ever been.
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Additional info for Black: The brilliance of a non-color
4 Jean Racine, Phaedra, tr. Richard Wilbur (New York: Harcourt, 1987), 73. , 74 6 “Avoir vu le loup” (“to have seen the wolf”) means to have lost one’s virginity. Soulages’ ultrablack Which of our contemporaries can provide better evidence of the dialectic I’ve been talking about here than Pierre Soulages, whose entire body of work has been devoted for many years to what he calls “ultrablack,” a monumental exploration of the purely pictorial resources of black? It is of great interest to me that Soulages regards this black – and painting as a whole – as unrelated to both pictorial imitation and description in language.
Isn’t the most profound education the one that was afforded me at my childhood elementary school, the one that divides the ink sharply between thought become Letter and drive turned into splotches and blots? How will those who begin with the darkish gray on the palish gray of computer screens manage? Without the slightest inkblot? Won’t they think that thought is just another variation of formlessness, that the intellect is just a thin additional coat of gray over the gray of drive, and drive a mere stripping of the gray of the intellect?
In his own contradictory and deadly way he bears witness to that always crucial moment when it becomes clear that no blackness can hide forever the fact that its active essence is red, which is always, to a greater or lesser extent, the red of blood. 9 The phrase is Madame de Staël’s. 10 Who can forget the song “Tout disparaîtra mais / Le vent nous portera [Everything will disappear but / The wind will carry us]”? The dark desire of/for darkness11 . . The same song also evokes “That perfume of our dead years / What may come knocking at your door / Infinity of fates / You choose one and what do you retain of it?
Black: The brilliance of a non-color by Alain Badiou