12 Feb 2010

Hair of the Meat [7] Bacon: Fragment of a Crucifixion, 1950. Deleuze on Bacon, Painting Series

Corry Shores
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[I am profoundly grateful to the sources of these images:
Credits given at the end.]

[The following is quotation. My commentary is bracketed in red.]

Hair of the Meat

(Thanks www.clansco.org.)

Francis Bacon

Fragment of a Crucifixion, 1950

Painting 52 of Deleuze's
Francis Bacon: Logique de la sensation. Tome II - Peintures
Painting [7] of the English translation
and Painting [52] of the Seuil 2002 French

(Thanks www.vanabbe.nl & Peter Cox)

Finally, the meat is itself the head, the head becomes the nonlocalized power of the meat, as in the 1950 Fragment of a Crucifixion [7], where the meat howls under the gaze of a dog-spirit perched on top of the cross. (Deleuze 2003: 19b)

Enfin la viande est elle-même tête, la tête est devenue la puissance illocalisée de la viande, comme dans le «Fragment d'une Crucifixion » de 1950 [52] où toute la viande hurle, sous le regard d'un esprit-chien qui se penche en haut de la croix. (Deleuze 2002: 31d)

[Consider our body's reflex actions. There is an immediate in-and-out response, unmediated by our conscious decision-making. In a sense, our muscles and nerves are capable of processing signals all on their own. And they do so instantaneously and directly. In a way, our flesh is a sort of ideal for how our minds should operate. Francis Bacon, in Deleuze's view, elevates the importance of our body's meat. Bacon's work saw a development which gradually brought together our heads with raw meat, until they become one in the same. This painting is the culmination of the development. Here, it is not even that Bacon depicts a meat-like head. Rather, it is the meat itself that expresses a head, if you will.

(Thanks www.vanabbe.nl & Peter Cox)

(Thanks www.vanabbe.nl & Peter Cox)

And the headed-meat howls like a hound below a figure that Deleuze calls a dog-spirit.]

(Thanks www.unirioja.es & Jan Cox.
© The Estate of Francis Bacon.)

Deleuze, Gilles. Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation. Transl. Daniel W. Smith. London/New York: Continuum, 2003.

Deleuze, Gilles. Francis Bacon: Logique de la sensation. Paris: Seuil, 2002.

Deleuze, Gilles. Francis Bacon: Logique de la sensation. Tome II - Peintures. Paris: Editions de la différence [Littératures], 1981.

Images obtained gratefully from:

1st instance:

2nd instance:
Thank you Peter Cox and Van Abbemuseum

3rd instance:
Thank you Jan Cox and the Estate of Francis Bacon. © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. DACS 2009

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