Deleuze’s Bacon

Deleuze’s Bacon

Art & Language and Tom Baldwin


Francis Baconʼs public career as a painter began in the 1940s and was more or less established by the 1950s. But it received its first guiding impulse from a convulsion in the British art establishment of the late 1930s. This convulsion was provoked by the increasing prominence of a cosmopolitanized, professionalized abstract art – the relatively powerful instrument of an emerging class, a new cultural bourgeoisie. The prospect that a professionalized abstract art would take hold in Britain was threatening to an older class of literati and dilettanti for whom art was a ʻcivilizingʼ rather than a ʻprofessionalʼ tendency.

It had become apparent that the rising cultural bourgeoisie perceived modernist abstract art as autonomous, driven by the dialectic of its own technicality. The technicality of its action enabled it to assume a practical (and a moral) legitimacy which devalued the authority of the older civilizing class. Cosmopolitan modernism accounted for its practice in terms of coherent ideology. To its opponents, the increasingly specialized vocabularies that accompanied it seemed menacing and aggressive.

In the 1930s the lead in the reactionary fight against this professionalism was taken by Kenneth Clark. A ʻhumanisticʼ vocabulary of aesthetic grandeur was developed and refined, and recalcitrant abstract artists were effectively marginalized. By the end of World War II, British art had been re-established as a civilizing discourse, predicated on the interesting eccentricities of individuals, that remained in thrall to a patronage of gentlemanly amateurs. Civilization was assisted by many ʻpersonalitiesʼ, artists and literati. Some of these were to be the art arbiters of the future: the wartime personnel of the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts grew up into the Arts Council; some of the loftier minds became voices on the BBC, and so on. In Britain at least art would be, one way or another, in the grand manner. Henry Moore became the great British sculptor and Graham Sutherland the great British painter. The canonical discourse of the authentically human opposed, and seemed to defeat, the outlandish vocabularies used by the foreign-seeming intellectuals of international abstract art. While surrealism recognizable as such was rejected for its unsightly political ramifications, in so far as its mannerisms were adaptable they were domesticated as picturesque detail. Acceptable deformations entailed the reinvocation of a form of romanticism: depoliticized, de-psychologized, British, and all right.

Though some early work of Baconʼs was shown alongside the surrealists in London in the 1930s, he emerged in the 1940s as a rather shady figure at the edge of a bohemian circle consisting of Sutherland, Minton, Craxton, Melville, Vaughan, Lucien Freud and others. One of the perceived tendencies of professionalized modernism was pedagogic. It seemed that its ideological and technical metiers could be taught. By contrast, resistance to socialization or to the distribution of power through teaching was a marked aspect of the bohemian authenticism of the 1940s and 1950s. Tradesmenʼs sons and daughters, unless suitably marked and transfigured by an appropriate authenticity, must not be allowed to pollute the rare mountain air. Such sentiments are significant among the enabling ideological conditions of Baconʼs eminence.

Picasso seemed to bestride both modernist professionalism and British figuration. Some – Minton, Sutherland, Craxton – identified the source and clung on. Bacon ʻacknowledgesʼ the influence of Picassoʼs techniques. But of course. What else, who else? Decoding, we might say that Bacon, like the others, borrowed and adapted and diluted the formalistic and expressionist threads of Picasso into an occasionally seamy, but essentially genteel figuration. This figuration, which shunned or sought seriously to restrict the ʻnarrativeʼ, compromised the painterly. But abstract art compromised or seemed to compromise a variety of ideological canons. It was therefore to be represented as trivial, empty, as incapable of bearing the weight of a necessary aestheticism. A middle, one might say quietly, British category emerged as a consequence: the figural. Historicistically tractable and located, vaguely continuous and discursively passive; neither one thing nor the other; neither ʻillustrativeʼ, nor ʻnarrativeʼ, nor ʻabstractʼ.

Bacon as authentic is the prisoner of a trope, a comical spectacle. In the hands of an authentic the fractious materiality of modern art is a picturesque shadow. The disciplines imposed by vertiginous materials, the blindness of the ironies which, contra Barthes, do not merely constitute a superiority of one voice over another, are denied in the culture of anecdote and nostalgic order.


The foregoing is a kind of recollection of an article on Bacon that we wrote for the journal Artscribe almost twenty years ago. [1] Its final thought was that it is more constructive and emancipating to make fun of Bacon than to engage in the genre of serious criticism. Gilles Deleuzeʼs Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation* belongs unquestionably to the genre of serious criticism. We might ask if it counts significantly against our recollection. We ask this in changed – or at least aggravated – circumstances: the hegemonic triumph of global capital has had artistic consequences. It has put a management in charge of production, and in doing so has bloated the power of the institution and robbed art of its internal complexity. If the power of the institution is to be resisted, it may be necessary to restore the internal complexity of the artwork. Painting may supply some clues to how this is to be accomplished.

While we argue that Baconʼs early eminence was due to a reactionary tendency in British art, he has re-emerged more recently in an abundance of critical writing and other cultural ʻstudiesʼ addressed to the body. Baconʼs ʻscenes of love, vomiting and excretionʼ (16), his zones of indiscernibility between man and animal, are celebrated as abjection, and abjection goes to the transgressive. Deleuze himself doesnʼt explicitly mention the transgressive. His book will lend support to the tendency, however. ʻAbjection becomes splendor, the horror of life becomes a very pure and very intense lifeʼ (52). This is right out of the old bohemianʼs charter. It is perhaps disconcerting to see a theme set running in the civilizing world of Sir Kenneth Clark being taken up for radical honour by Julia Kristeva.

Deleuze argues that ʻBaconʼs is a closed and artificial worldʼ (43). But we can also read today that ʻinterest in the bodyʼs apertures depends on the preoccupation with social exits and entrancesʼ. Kristeva has argued via Bataille for the power of abjection, on the grounds that it ʻdisturbs identity, system, order; that it does not respect bodies, positions, rulesʼ. [2]

The modernist art project may well have to face up to the charge that it issued from an over-intellectualized delibidinized laboratory. But it does not follow from this that the hopelessly attention-seeking transgressions of processed art-world abjection have any chance of disturbing, let alone overthrowing, globalized power. Neither the anus nor the mouth nor any of the other holes – including the one you might vomit down – are ipso facto transgressive. They fit well enough into those cultural templates that were first formed in the context of ʻcivilizationʼ.


Deleuze is not naive in his readings of such basics as pictorial space and depth, figure–ground relations, and so on. He has a grip on the unavailability to twentiethcentury painting of ʻsimple figurationʼ, and on some of the reasons for that. He says, ʻPainting has to extract the Figure from the figurativeʼ (8). (The logic of this necessity becomes somewhat tortured in places, as when, ʻthe body [in Baconʼs painting] … exerts an effort upon itself in order to become a Figureʼ (15).) Later, ʻthe Figure is opposed to figuration…ʼ Even if ʻsomething is nonetheless figured (for instance a screaming Pope)ʼ, there is a ʻsecondary figuration [which] depends on the neutralization of all primary figurationʼ (37). We might ask what this neutralization is like. Presumably it doesnʼt mean that one no longer sees the screaming Pope. Rather one experiences the Pope as a Figure rather than recognizing it as a represented body. A lot is made to hinge on this distinction. Supposedly, ʻBacon has always tried to eliminate the “sensational”, that is, the primary figuration of that which provokes a violent sensationʼ (38). As a disclaimer on Baconʼs part, that has always seemed a bit disingenuous. As Deleuze represents him, Bacon is interested in violence not as narrative or even as a subject of representation, but as ʻitself a Figureʼ (39). But this doesnʼt quite do away with the question of what it is that forms the set of the figurative themes of Baconʼs pictures.* Gilles Deleuze, Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation, trans. Daniel W. Smith, Continuum Press, London and New York, 2003. 240 pp., £16.99 hb. 0 82646647

8. ^ Page references appear parenthetically in the text.Deleuze has an evasive but possibly interesting preoccupation with ʻthe factʼ (3). This appears to be a kind of unarticulated requirement of realism. He gives an odd account of religious figuration (9–10). On the one hand it appears that, if ʻwith God, everything is permittedʼ, then there can be no realism in religious art. On the other, he seems to be saying that it is by religious art that ʻFigures [are] freed from all figurationʼ, thus offering modern art a precedent – besides recourse to abstraction – for liberation from the invasion of the photographic. (He returns in his seventh chapter to the matter of figurative representation versus abstraction.) Itʼs not quite clear what is and what is not a fact, or the fact. Thereʼs a suspicion of circularity: that a fact may simply be what gets onto the surface of a Bacon painting.

Deleuzeʼs invocations of horror and violence (e.g. of the act of painting), and of all the stuff about meat and animals, is by now little more than conventional ʻG2ʼ culture-speak. ʻThe common fact (again) of man and animalʼ (21) is not a very profound fact. Meat is another ʻfactʼ (23). As with much of the stuff about how figures in Baconʼs paintings relate to their enclosing contours and armatures, the frisson comes largely from a kind of forgetting that whatʼs being talked about is actually not ʻfactʼ, but a series of pictures. Nevertheless, ʻBacon harbours within himself all the violence of Ireland, and the violence of Nazism, the violence of war. He passes through the horror of the crucifixions … or the head of meat, or the bloody suitcaseʼ (38). What is this but the stipulation of authenticity?

Deleuze has a thoroughly Greenbergian distaste for narrative and for the kinds of rhetorical devices that tend to go with it. But itʼs not quite clear how this fits with his apt perception that a typical Bacon painting is ʻcomposed like a circus ringʼ (1) – that is, presumably, is in certain respects deeply theatrical and cornily spectacular. Nor is it clear that the account he gives (in Chapter 2) of Baconʼs development of a ʻdifferent relation to figuration or illustration than the painting of the past hasʼ would not apply equally well or better to more or less any midto late-twentieth-century painter worth bothering with.

Deleuze is constantly finding animation in Baconʼs work. This is not quite the kind of animation by means of which a static painted image is normally thought to acquire psychological vividness – usually through some sense of interaction with (or even alienation from) an imagined spectator. It is animation as in Tom and Jerry or Who Framed Roger Rabbit? We have bodies flattening themselves into mirrors, or flowing in and out of holes – in doors or sinks or hypodermic syringes, or even in the body itself (ʻBaconʼs scream is the operation through which the entire body escapes through the mouthʼ (16, and again on 28).) Late-late surrealism meets Tex Avery, in the logical world of the Notes on the Large Glass. And the spectator gets left behind – or is somehow conceived of as part of the ʻinternalʼ world of the picture. (ʻBacon needs the function of an attendant, which is not a spectator but part of the Figureʼ (13).) Central to Deleuzeʼs argument is a strange and antique kind of antithesis between the Figure and ʻabstract formʼ that connects to the earlier discussion of flesh and bones in Baconʼs painting. To be concerned with the wild movement of the body as against the sterilizing environment of abstract modernity is a hopelessly adolescent dualism. Deleuze acknowledges this but still seems a bit unsure about it. He describes Bacon as ʻrefusing the double way of figurative painting and abstract paintingʼ. Deleuze may use the term ʻfigureʼ in ways that are almost Greenbergian, but sometimes things get more ambiguous. Just when you think heʼs proposing either abstract art (ʻpure formʼ, whatever that is) and the figure as ways out of anecdote, illustration and narrative painting, he announces that the name of the figure is ʻsensationʼ. This is the neurosis and psycho(pathology) that forms a self-affirming stereotype of the creative individual.

We identify the body on the canvas not because we know it to be a representation of that object, but by virtue of its sustaining this sensation. Deleuze equates Cézanneʼs admonition to himself to ʻpaint the sensationʼ with Baconʼs to ʻrecord the factʼ (35). He goes on to talk about a ʻdifference of level, a plurality of constituting domainsʼ in the sensation, and also about its ʻmaterial synthetic unityʼ – which is not made up by ʻthe represented objectʼ (37). Itʼs not immediately clear what this means. The issue is an important one for Deleuzeʼs text, however, since it bears on the question of how and why Baconʼs work may be said both to be complex in oneʼs experience of it – to operate at different ʻlevelsʼ – and to offer something like compositional unity.

Deleuze does address the question of ʻwhat are these levels, and what makes up their sensing or sensed unityʼ (37). He rejects two possible candidates for unifying agent. The first is the represented object. This is not to be confused with the Figure, which is the authentic source of the sensation. The second candidate is the painter himself, whose potential ambivalence of feeling might be thought to have generated some ambiguity or complexity in representation of the body that is its object. This is ruled out by Deleuze on the grounds that ʻthere are no feelings in Bacon: there are nothing but affects; that is, “sensations” and “instincts” according to the formula of naturalismʼ (39). In other words, you canʼt trace any complexity of sensation back into the psychology of the author; you must account for it in terms of the conventional language of pictorial representation. This is all very well and nicely Greenbergian (or it would be if Deleuze didnʼt go on to talk about the appropriate sensation being the one ʻthat fills the flesh at a particular moment of its descentʼ (40)), but we do have to remember that itʼs Francis Bacon weʼre talking about and not, say, Matisse.

Deleuze finally gets round to his own preferred explanation for the complexity of sensation he finds in Baconʼs work. It comes over as a bit limp. His answer is that the figures are actually in motion, or in spasm, as a consequence of ʻthe action of invisible forces on the bodyʼ (41). He writes later that ʻthe force of bodies in Baconʼ is ʻto put time inside the Figureʼ (48). This explanation seems to require a descent from figure to body in order to justify a ʻlevel of sensationʼ that was previously seen as dependent on the extraction of ʻthe Figure from the figurativeʼ. Weʼre back with narrative. As if in recognition of the inadequacy of this hypothesis, Deleuze offers another, which is perhaps less limp than desperate: synaesthesia. ʻThe levels of sensation would really be domains of sensation that refer to the different sense organs … independently of the represented object they have in common … each time meat is represented, we touch it, smell it, eat it, weigh itʼ (42).

Traversing these different domains, and serving to unify them, is the power of rhythm: ʻThis rhythm runs through a painting just as it runs through a piece of music.ʼ It looks almost as though weʼre back with significant form, with the decorative, and with their various correlates. No great harm in that, perhaps. But if this was really the destination you had in mind, would you choose Bacon as your vehicle? As Deleuze goes on, however, it becomes clear that his apparent formalism is of a more exotic cast than Bellʼs or Greenbergʼs. ʻThis ground, this rhythmic unity of the senses, can be discovered only by going beyond the organism … the lived body is still a paltry thing in comparison with a more profound and almost unlivable Power [Puissance]ʼ (44). You might think that whatʼs being invoked here is a kind of transcendence, at the level of the Seriously Aesthetic. On the contrary, however, what Deleuze has in mind is Artaudʼs ʻbody without organsʼ (44) – or without determinate organs at least. This is an imagined circumstance in which ʻevery sensation implies a difference of level (of order, of domain)ʼ, and in which a hypothetical ʻcomplete seriesʼ includes all possible permutations of temporary and transitory organs: ʻWhat is a mouth at one level becomes an anus at another levelʼ, and so forth (48). ʻThis complete series constitutes the hysterical reality of the body.ʼ It transpires that the cartoon-like body escaping from itself through its own mouth (or through any of its other orifices) is a kind of Ur-hysteric.


Deleuze himself poses the question that naturally arises. ʻWhat kind of hysteria are we speaking of here? Is it the hysteria of Bacon himself, or of the painting itself, or of painting in general?ʼ (It seems a long time ago since we posed the question, ʻWho dares to appoint himself artʼs psychoanalyst?ʼ Will a schizo-analyst do any better?) Deleuze posits a ʻspecial relationʼ between painting and hysteria, on the grounds that painting ʻdirectly attempts to release the presences beneath representation, beyond representationʼ (51–2). Painting gives us lines and colours freed from the requirements of ʻorganic representationʼ; in turn, in the presence of painting, the body without determinate organs is made all eyes.

ʻThe body without organsʼ has come in for a certain amount of conceptual abuse. In spite of its name, this body isnʼt exactly organless. While the ʻorganismʼ ʻis defined by determinate organsʼ, the body without organs ʻis [thus] defined by an indeterminate organʼ. It is finally defined ʻby the temporary and provisional presence of determinate organsʼ (48). This is a bit messy: does a constantly shifting set of determinate organs constitute an indeterminate organ?

It is at this point that Deleuze returns to the two alternative routes open to painting as he conceives it: to ʻconserve the figurative coordinates of organic representationʼ, or else to turn toward ʻabstract formʼ and invent ʻa properly pictorial cerebralityʼ (53). But each of these now appears as a means of avoiding the ʻfundamental hysteriaʼ which Deleuze has come to identify not simply with Bacon but with the ʻclinical essenceʼ of art – possibly of each art. Thus, just as painting makes us all eyes, so music makes us all ears, and so on. It is at this point that Proust finally makes his explicit appearance, quoted on the notion of a kind of ʻbodily combatʼ in music, ʻin which there subsists not one scrap of inert matter refractory to the mindʼ.

Deleuze quotes Bacon saying that the smile he painted on a 1955 Pope came from a ʻmodelʼ ʻwho was very neurotic and almost hystericalʼ (51). Around this obiter dictum he constructs a representation of Baconʼs paintings as ʻhystericizedʼ. ʻWith painting, hysteria becomes artʼ (52). ʻHysteriaʼ threads through the text and makes its presence(!) felt, not only where it appears explicitly or in connection with ʻrelationsʼ such as ʻbodies without organsʼ, ʻscream breathsʼ, ʻdisordered convulsionsʼ, ʻsex organs sprouting anywhere, rectums [that] open, defecate and closeʼ.

Presence, presence … this is the first word that comes to mind in front of one of Baconʼs paintings.

Could this presence be hysterical? The hysteric is at the same time someone who imposes his or her presence but also someone for whom things and beings are present, too present, and who attributes to everything and communicates to every being this excessive presence. There is therefore little difference between the hysteric, the ʻhystericizedʼ and the ʻhystericizorʼ. (50)Itʼs not too much to say that at times Deleuze writes as if possessed by Baconʼs paintings. Freud acknowledged that his psychoanalytical description of hysteria was but a kind of semantic revision of the demonological one. Neurosis and hypochondria become modern versions of the medieval theories of possession. Deleuze, it seems, has decided to go the whole hog and write himself as the demonʼs habitation, and in doing so to demonstrate the point. There is something demonic and vexing about the figures that Deleuze, as it were, ʻfiguresʼ by ʻhysteriaʼ. As we wrote many years ago, however:

it is difficult to distinguish between ʻgenuineʼ hysteria and malingering.… Between ʻhysteriaʼ, ʻimpersonation of hysteriaʼ, ʻexplicitʼ or ʻinexplicitʼ malingering there lies a vexed hiatus of differentiation and undecidability. [3]

To work with these vexatious representations is a complex but perhaps not entirely pointless endeavour. But Deleuzeʼs world is as tightly closed as the world that he sees Bacon as depicting. Is he talking about hysteria, or is he hysterical – the victim of hysteria? There are no rational distances, no historical circumstances, around and in between things in this world of violence, demonology, dirty washbasins, dog-spirits, bat-spirits and howling meat. You want to interrupt, but the breath doesnʼt come.


Deleuze refers to Proust directly on nine occasions. The most striking reference occurs on page

67. ^ Itʼs striking because, in spite of what John Russell has to say about Proust and involuntary memory, Deleuze states that ʻProustʼs world seems to have little in common with Baconʼs.ʼ ʻOne still has the impressionʼ, however, ʻthat Russell is correct.ʼ Deleuze is discussing what he refers to as ʻcoupled figuresʼ, which, apparently, ʻBacon never stopped paintingʼ. He writes that there is ʻone Figure common to two bodies, or one “fact” common to two Figuresʼ, more or less recapitulating what Proust has to say about the workings of la mémoire involontaire. In a blatant paraphrase of Proust, Deleuze writes that It [involuntary memory] coupled together two sensations that existed at different levels of the body, and that seized each other like two wrestlers, the present sensation and the past sensation, in order to make something appear that was irreducible to either of them, irreducible to the past as well as the present:

this Figure. (67)Proust writes, in Time Regained: ʻAlways, in resurrections of this sort, the distant location engendered around the common sensation would be meshed for a moment, like a wrestler, with the actual location.ʼ [4]

So itʼs clear on Deleuzeʼs own analysis that the worlds of Bacon and Proust have something in common – a ʻcouplingʼ of two things (bodies or sensations) engenders the production of a ʻFigureʼ (Proust might have called it an ʻessenceʼ, ʻa bit of time in the pure stateʼ [5] ). Is that where the affinity ends? Regarding Baconʼs triptychs, Deleuze observes: ʻThe previous solution of coupling is of no use here, for the Figures are and remain separated in the triptychʼ (69). In other words, since the ʻFiguresʼ in the triptychs ʻmust remain separated and do not resonateʼ itʼs difficult to see how they can have a ʻcommon factʼ. A Proust-style ʻcouplingʼ will not work. Perhaps this is why Deleuze says that Baconʼs and Proustʼs worlds donʼt have much in common. But if this is right, then he has ignored what he himself says about Proustʼs work in his own Proust and Signs. Baconʼs ʻFiguresʼ are, like monads, radically separate. They are, however, brought together on or across the same surface – they are ʻFigures which are [nonetheless] united in the paintingʼ (70). They ʻremain separated, but they are no longer isolated; and the frame or borders of a painting no longer refer to the limitative unity of each, but to the distributive unity of the threeʼ (85). There is a ʻunion that separatesʼ which is constituted by ʻan immense space–timeʼ (84, 85). There are a number of distinct similarities between this analysis and that of the structure of Proustʼs novel in Proust and Signs. Deleuze suggests that it is mistaken to observe ʻthe laws of continuity and unityʼ in Proustʼs work. [6] Proustʼs image of ʻvases closʼ occurs in Time Regained:The gesture, the simplest action remains enclosed as if within a thousand sealed vessels each one of which would be filled with things of a completely different colour, odour and temperature; quite apart from the fact that these vessels, arranged across the full length of our years, during which we have never ceased to change, even if only our thoughts or our dreams, are placed at quite different heights and give us the sensation of extraordinarily varied atmospheres. [7]

In Deleuzeʼs analysis, these suspended vessels are not simply the containers of essences hanging at different levels in time. Each of the narratorʼs love affairs, for example, is merely part of ʻan infinity of successive lovesʼ – one of an apparently infinite number of fragments or ʻclosed partsʼ. [8] As the narrator suggests, the sheer multitude of fragments may serve to give a false ʻimpression of continuityʼ, an ʻillusion of unityʼ. So far, this would seem to be the kind of illusion that Georges Poulet, for example, entertains. Deleuze, however, rejects the idea that there is a ʻdirect means of communicationʼ between the fragments of Proustʼs world. Instead, there is a system of ʻtransversalsʼ, which enable us to jump from one fragment or multiple to the next ʻwithout ever reducing the multiple to the Oneʼ.

The important point is that these fragments are both (simultaneously) ʻseparateʼ and ʻunitedʼ. They donʼt whisper in each otherʼs ears. They shout across large valleys. Proustʼs closed parts cannot be ʻreduced to the Oneʼ, and Baconʼs paintings donʼt ʻtell a storyʼ (69). What is the transversal of Baconʼs ʻFiguresʼ? Deleuze suggests that the uniting–separating force is ʻlightʼ, ʻan immense space–time [that] unites all things, but only by introducing between them the distances of a Sahara, the centuries of an aeonʼ (85). So we might argue that time or ʻspace–timeʼ is the transversal of Baconʼs ʻFiguresʼ. While Deleuzeʼs argument concerning Baconʼs triptychs is reminiscent of what he says about Proustʼs novel, it also resembles what Poulet observes in Proustian Space. Like Deleuzeʼs, Pouletʼs analysis hints at a monadic conception of the work. But, for Poulet (unlike Deleuze), as radically fragmented as Proustʼs work might be, these fragments are connected in so far as they are juxtaposed not only within the perceptive field of an individual consciousness but also across or along the same aesthetic surface or ʻspaceʼ – ʻon the same mapʼ. [9] The monadic fragments suggest a differentiated system, but the aesthetic surface implies that this is only a limited form of textual discontinuity. Indeed, it suggests a surface that does not work by gaps – a system that is replete. Deleuze rejects any relatively direct or continuous (undifferentiated) connection between the monadically separate parts: we can skim between the different regions, but we cannot bring them together to form a continuous, analogical system. The fragments are ʻconnectedʼ in an indirect (i.e. ʻtransversalʼ manner), but there are gaps (empty spaces) between them. They are remote islands, but they are not, it would seem, united across the surface of a single map. Pouletʼs Proust is mixed up with Deleuzeʼs own Proust to make Bacon.

So even – or perhaps especially – when Deleuze insists on the lack of affinity between Bacon and Proust, we can hear echoes, if not of Proust himself, then of Deleuze on Proust (or of Poulet on Proust). Deleuze says that to ʻrender time sensible in itself is a task common to the painter, the musician, and sometimes the writerʼ (64). Itʼs difficult not to view this writer as Proust, or, moreover, as Deleuzeʼs Proust. In creating a temporary and provisional presence, Bacon has, according to Deleuze, ʻpainted timeʼ (ʻthere is a great force of time in Bacon, time itself is being paintedʼ (48)). The body without organs is Baconʼs device for inserting ʻtime into the paintingʼ (48). In Proust and Signs, Deleuze argues that the narratorʼs ʻapprenticeshipʼ, during which he must learn to translate signs in order to access ʻtruthʼ, moves through different levels of signs – ʻworldly signsʼ, ʻsensuous signsʼ, the ʻsigns of loveʼ, the ʻsigns of Artʼ. The subject learns to decipher them, and to discover different kinds of temporality that are associated with them. The ʻworldly signʼ is a sign of ʻTime that Passesʼ; the ʻsign of loveʼ is a sign of ʻTime Wastedʼ; the ʻsensuous signʼ is a sign of ʻTime Recovered at the Heart of Lost Timeʼ; the ʻsign of Artʼ is a sign of an original, absolute Time – ʻa bit of time in the pure stateʼ. [10] Deleuze argues that Proust privileges the ʻsigns of Artʼ over all other types of sign. This is because theyʼre the signs of what he refers to in this book on Bacon as ʻthe force of eternal timeʼ (63); what Proust refers to as ʻle Tempsʼ rather than ʻle tempsʼ.

So works of art give us ʻa bit of time in the pure stateʼ. It should be noted that Proust first uses this phrase in Time Regained in relation to an experience of involuntary memory (a ʻsensuous signʼ) rather than in relation to a ʻsign of Artʼ. For Deleuze, however, ʻsensuous signsʼ are inferior to the ʻsigns of Artʼ. This is because while theyʼre signs of essences – of an original, absolute Time – the other signs ʻrefer to or are associated with material thingsʼ. [11] In Deleuzeʼs analysis, the experience of the madeleine, for example, is secondary. This is because the madeleineʼs taste is still ʻmaterially connected to the essence it containsʼ – the narratorʼs childhood home in Combray. [12] The ʻsign of Artʼ is made of a spiritual matter ʻso ductile and kneadedʼ that it refracts the ʻpure light of essenceʼ. [13] The two most obvious examples of such precious and privileged ʻsigns of Artʼ in Proustʼs work are, as Patrick ffrench notes, the ʻlittle patch of yellow wallʼ in Vermeerʼs View of Delft and the ʻlittle phraseʼ in Vinteuilʼs sonata. [14]

The point is that an encounter with both the ʻsigns of Artʼ and some ʻsensuous signsʼ (those associated with involuntary memory) allows us to experience an ʻessenceʼ or ʻTimeʼ which is ʻreal without being actual, ideal without being abstractʼ. [15] In the case of involuntary memory, weʼre not dealing with the remembering of a moment that is past but was once present, but with the ʻvery being of the past in itselfʼ – what Bergson called the virtual (in Proustʼs words: ʻsomething which, common both to the past and the present, is much more essential than either of themʼ [16] ). Similarly, the ʻsigns of Artʼ bring together both past and present, the virtual and the actual, in a ʻsmall internal circuitʼ. [17] The important difference between these things is that the ʻsigns of Artʼ express ʻTimeʼ (ʻrender time sensible in itselfʼ) in a far more direct manner. Thereʼs no need for memory or for the contingent materiality of a sensation in order for that expression to be realized. In a sense, ʻabstract formʼ and the ʻFigureʼ are the new terms in the Bacon book for ʻinvoluntary memoryʼ and the ʻsigns of Artʼ in Proust and Signs. The former (abstract form) is described, possibly for comic effect but certainly with comic effect, as ʻaddressed to the headʼ and ʻacts through the intermediary of the brain, which is closer to the boneʼ (34), whereas the Figure is ʻthe sensible form related to a sensation which acts immediately upon the nervous system, which is of the fleshʼ (34, our stress).

Having asserted that Bacon and Proust have little in common, Deleuze goes on (in the next paragraph) to talk about Proust and involuntary memory. That Proust = involuntary memory is revealing. His argument may be that thereʼs little affiliation between the two since Bacon deals in the ʻsigns of Artʼ and Proust with ʻsensuous signsʼ (involuntary memory). But this is at least disingenuous: Baconʼs ʻFiguresʼ operate exactly like Proustʼs ʻsigns of Artʼ.

Deleuzeʼs text engulfs Baconʼs ʻclosed and artificial worldʼ in another that is without material and political contingency, this notwithstanding his chapter ʻEvery Painter Recapitulates the History of Painting in His or Her Own Wayʼ. Here is Bacon in a purified, one might say sanctified, world – a fictional world in whose mimetic space Deleuze performs his ekphrasis. A world, in short, a bit like Proustʼs. In this case, the semi-abstract synthesis is one that has only limited vulnerability to ʻnaturalisticʼ criticism, but it is similarly restricted in its power to defend itself against criticism that answers to the contingent mess outside.

It turns out that the virtual world that Deleuze creates is deaf to the laughter that we recommended as the best medicine for Bacon. But a voice located somewhere in the contingent mess of the practical, the political and the dialectically technical – a voice off – continues to interrupt.


Bacon used certain theatrical devices to hold his isolated figures on his modernistic coloured grounds: the outline of a box in perspective, what Deleuze calls ʻparallelipeds of glass or iceʼ, railings around areas, oval or round shapes, armatures and pedestals. Deleuze does admit that these devices are ʻrather rudimentaryʼ – as they are. Bacon is not, like Cézanne, attempting the dogged pursuit of a unifying pictorial system. Instead, he is desperately looking for something to get him out of one the pitfalls of semi-abstract painting. Figures with paint all over their faces and bodies fall out of their flat modernist backgrounds and have to be stuck back on somehow. You need devices. Baconʼs parallelipeds create a geometry that prevents the figures from seeming to fall out of the shallow modernist pictorial space onto the floor. The devices are tricksy.

Shallow pictorial spaces are common enough in portraits and in pictures of few or single figures both ʻpreand post-cubismʼ – and not only ʻpost-cubismʼ as Deleuze suggests. Baconʼs ʻspaceʼ is perhaps not so much that of the circus ring as of the chapel, the small theatre or the Punch and Judy show. In this world there are plenty of curtains, confessionals, altar rails and other quasi-liturgical (theatrical) decorations. By popular convention, the air may be heavy with incense and with dodgy sexuality. This is a world that was looked into by Rimbaud, Verlaine, Proust, Gide and the surrealists (in their literature more effectively than their art). By the time Baconʼs career got going it was a source of the atmospherics of easy art.

According to Deleuze, painting ʻhas two possible ways of escaping the figurative: toward pure form, through abstraction, or toward the purely figural, through extraction and isolation … to break with representation, to disrupt narration, to escape illustration [is to] isolate the figureʼ (3). To liberate the figure from the figurative is to isolate it against the ground. Now, Deleuze may be talking of bodies as figures or he may be talking more of figure–ground relationships. For the hysteric or the malingerer itʼs frequently hard to say which is which. But remember, in the curatorfixated world of art and art writing barely a moment has gone by without someone coming up with ʻthe bodyʼ or with ʻnew gentlenessʼ – or something – as a solution to, or a salve for, the insecurities and scandals of abstraction.

Deleuze sees the paralleliped theatre as somehow essential to Baconʼs ʻlogicʼ. The voice off says that this is how Bacon gets to have puppets that he can adorn as he pleases with artistically conventional artifices of expressivity, emotional gravitas, and so on. The puppets that are created by the Punch-and-Judy show décor-cum-space are merely the hooks from which Baconʼs style-shopping, his self-regarding anxiety in the face of the modern(ist), are hung. This is a theatre in which well-established artistic conventions can be mistaken for critical or violent or otherwise urgent and significant insertions of the figural. This is not what they really are. They are usually borrowed artistic swatches, patches of artifice that anticipate readymade responses. The little theatre enables the figure to stay in place the easy way. We might say that it is clearly an artifice that is not impinged upon by reality. Bacon sees no need, or canʼt be bothered, to find a surprising angle or bit of the world – a table or a window or whatever à la Manet, Degas or Bonnard – but he makes a few smears, a few decorative gestures, and redeems them with the small conventions of ʻperspectiveʼ to produce theatre and to allude to a grander and more auratic Weltanschauung of religious art (the Renaissance, curtained rooms, confessionals, ecclesiastical power, and so on). This is in fact the Weltanschauung – or rather the panoply – of the conjurer/illusionist. It is kitsch.


In a descriptive passage in ʻA Note on Colorʼ, Deleuze points out that the three fundamental elements of Baconʼs painting are ʻarmature or structure, the figure and the contourʼ (144). These are lines that bind colour. So far we are hearing a description of almost any figurative painting. Deleuze then goes on to describe several paintings by Bacon (146–7). His argument seems to be little more than that colour has certain effects – pushing and pulling, flowing and so forth; that coloured pictures can sometimes be flattened by their chromatic effects, and that flat-ish colour is, well, the background somehow – or, rather, that it does not form the figure. In Bacon this is true. It is his broken tones that recall the modelling of a conservative figuration.

The chapter goes on in more or less formalistic vein. And then we return to the idea that the figures are trapped or confined in a quasi-decorative theatre, and that this decorative-cum-atmospheric (theatrical) scheme has a certain logic or autonomy. In its decorative autonomy, it invokes questions of taste. This is dealt with as follows: ʻEven the most hideous of rugs ceases to be hideous when one comprehends it figurallyʼ (153). That is, even what might be – we might imagine to be – an ugly rug depicted is not ugly in its depicted form, so long as it has a significant (formal?) role (figural role?) in the painting. This is surely no more than obvious and simultaneously dubious. It does not follow from our guess that there is a real rug that is in fact hideous and that serves as the prototype of the painted rug that is in fact hideous, that a rug-like patch of paint that may itself be hideous will not be hideous in the painting as a whole. How would such a thing be hideous? Or does he mean that ʻmentionedʼ bad taste can be converted into something transcendent by a pictorial use? Itʼs all (again) both obvious and simultaneously dubious. This is a dinner-table topic, familiar not only at the high table, but also in the sub-Platonic chitchat of petty-bourgeois taste.


For example, a mouth: it will be elongated, stretched from one side of the head to the other. For example, the head: part of it will be cleared away with a brush, broom, sponge or rag. This is what Bacon calls a ʻgraphʼ or a diagram. It is as if a Sahara, a zone of the Sahara, were suddenly inserted into the head. (100)ʻThe diagramʼ is a strange term of Baconʼs artspeak shorthand. It is cooked to death by Deleuze. It is what is somehow a ʻgivenʼ – ʻwhatʼs in your headʼ. Who ever painted (figuratively) nothing much? Bacon perhaps. Or is Deleuze saying nothing much – the art-school obvious about what it is like to do a certain kind of ʻabstractʼ-ish painting? You donʼt think of it and then do it. You chuck paint, rub and dab. Clear things out of the way, distort and change. The diagram is ʻthus the operative set of asignifying and non-representative lines and zonesʼ. This is simply false. They may be a set of marks that arenʼt what Bacon finally ʻfindsʼ figurally, but thereʼs no reason to say that they are asignifying unless what Bacon finally makes is all they ever could be. In fact they ʻreferʼ intentionally or not to many other bits of art. Artʼs like that – unless itʼs not and art has no art connections. But Deleuze doesnʼt live in that postmodern world of art without history, as he repeatedly makes clear.

ʻThe paintbrush and the easel can express a general subordination of the handʼ (154). The hand presumably subordinated to the eye. The easel painting is worked at and looked at under certain conditions that are associated with the exercise of a certain control. But easels, and so on, do not make that inevitable. ʻEasel paintingʼ became a term for a certain sort of European art of a particular scale and pictoriality. (There is in Bacon a distinct vestige of that easel-painting tradition, notwithstanding his rather superficial borrowings of ʻattendantsʼ from the cupboard of American abstract art.) ʻ[B]ut no painter has ever been satisfied with the paintbrushʼ (154). How does Deleuze know? Is the technical necessity to use a palette knife something to do with dissatisfaction with the paintbrush? Deleuze goes on to say that the ʻvalues of the handʼ come in the form of the digital, the tactile, the manual proper and a stage on the journey to the Proustian-cumtachiste haptic.

Yet to chuck paint without looking at the canvas, for example, does not make the optical come to bits, even if the viewer is well aware of the ʻfactʼ. One has used a system to produce an optical or visually recoverable effect. But how can the insubordination of the hand (e.g. as a consequence of poor hand–eye coordination or of avant-garde gesturalism), which presumably results in unintentional marks, dismantle the optical except in making a rather flaccid and Maurice Denis-ish point to the effect that painters usually do their work by hand. (Where do paintings by mouth fit it?) How does this render the painting, as it were, ʻpurelyʼ manual? When Bacon sketches and arts about, is that what he is (was) doing? Messing up, smearing, and so on, are all recognized techniques. When FantinLatour scrapes the painted shadows and flower stems in order to have the little smears, smoothings and darkenings ʻreconstructʼ a glass vase and its contents, he is, no doubt, engaged in a relaxed insubordination of the hand. It seems that Deleuze has constructed some rather precious categories, smelling strongly of rue de Seine epochalism, to try to account for the varieties of homeless representation that occur in Baconʼs work. We introduced Fantin-Latour perhaps unwisely. His is not homeless represention, and thereʼs plenty of his work in Paris. Deleuzeʼs hermetic discourse invokes the pompous spectacle of post-World War II French abstraction as presided over by Michauxʼs mescalin drawings and Mathieuʼs aviator outfits.

Bacon saw the possibilities in the semi-abstract.

Well, shouldnʼt we all? Except that this is the abstract that didnʼt worry the upper classes. Deleuzeʼs analysis is quite sophisticated, but really itʼs a fancy way of saying that Bacon thought that abstraction was sort of unamenable to the grand ʻhumanʼ manner. Both Bacon and Deleuze prefer Michaux to Pollock. In this Bacon didnʼt understand, and neither does Deleuze, that the dialectical technicality of non-French abstract painting confronts and rejects the grand manner. Bacon nevertheless mined it promiscuously for decorative effects.

To those who attended art school in the early 1960s, there is an eerie ring to Deleuzeʼs insistence on Baconʼs diagram as the key to understanding the artist technically. In those days the straight conservatives, the real conservatives, dwelt stolidly in the nineteenth century or put their faith in dot-and-carry. As authenticity developed a sort of pedagogy, youngish or trendy-ish ʻteachersʼ emerged whose missionin-smug-self-importance was founded on humiliation: torture the life model and ʻjolt the students out of their complacencyʼ. ʻMake a markʼ, ʻmake another markʼ (ʻsmudge it, smear itʼ, etc.). What does it do to what you (can) see? We were mere inches from ʻsignificant formʼ but this was significant form with psychological extras. The life class was beset by such crap. Students were often confused by the smeary semi-abstract biomorphic figural results. It is possible that Deleuze has brought this shifty conservativism to its theoretical – we had better say literary – apotheosis.

Itʼs not that Deleuze is always wrong about painting, rather that he trusts the interpretations that he, qua philosopher, makes of the arch and self-serving artspeak of his subject and of those in his milieu. One tries to unpack, or rather to puncture the vessel – to recover something practical rather than aesthetic, artistic and embedded. One longs for a sceptical voice, a lowering of the tone. Having set the scene theoretically – or in general – Deleuze sort of gets to Bacon and a certain clarity. Bacon paints a figure or a figurative form more or less conventionally. What is called the ʻlaw of the diagramʼ ʻintervenes and scrambles itʼ. It might be more natural to say that Bacon messes the figure up in an artistic sort of way, with smears and patches that come manually. What can we make of this emphasis on the manual or the diagram? One paints a figure and smears it. In what sense is this smearing and decorating insubordinate to the eye? Itʼs the eye that says thatʼs enough, thatʼs good, and so on. In Bacon, this was a self-replicating style, a theatre of borrowed decorative abstraction – or rather abstraction trivialized so as to adhere semi-abstractly to the figure.

These possibilities of the figural seen in paint are usually far from surprising (which may not matter), but they are also not simply found in insubordinate patches and traits. They are frequently repeated Baconish things, moments of pointless knowingness. And Bacon is not so much worthy of prolonged analysis of his painting habits as trapped in the biomorphic conventions of late and politically unmotivated surrealism, decorated from time to time with a few updatings from recent abstract painting.

Deleuze quotes the song ʻCrosseyed and Painlessʼ from the Talking Heads album Remain in Light. ʻIʼm changing my shape, I feel like an accidentʼ (158). Do Baconʼs effects look accidental? The painter paints, and various figures – or rather pictorial possibilities – are suggested as he proceeds. How come the accidents so consistently produce such arch theatre, such clever little crowd-pleasers? Deleuze has Bacon thinking of a formula – a trait (brush)stroke formula or colour patch formula – ʻcapable of expressing the diagramʼ. Heʼs attributing the wrong question to Bacon. He had a formula that ensured that he did paintings that do the job that Bacons always did.


Chapter 17, ʻThe Eye and the Handʼ, is an attempt to map further the exchanges and tensions between the manual and the visual into Baconʼs work. We first have to accept that there is something in Deleuzeʼs purified tachisme. One can think of the literal facts about painting in at least two ways: line and colour or brushstroke (or just stroke) and colour patch. Deleuze obliquely acknowledges that a line is, of course, a stroke, but we might want to emphasize the action of the artist in calling it a stroke. So far, so good. Second, Deleuze argues that paintings can, as it were, show ʻactionʼ that somehow overwhelms or makes what the artist did more important than what the artist sees (or we see). (Soulages, Mathieu?) The haptic relation of hand and eye is one where the eye touches or seems to touch what it sees. Is the haptic relation indeed exemplified in a convexity of objects: the reaching out to the eye of the surfaces of things à la Proust? None of this is clear.

The best we can do to interpret Deleuze constructively is suggest that eye and hand make no distinction between themselves. As art approaches a modern condition of hapticity, the supposed ʻviolenceʼ of (some) painting, for example, would allow for no considered ruling by either organ in the act of painting. But how fruitful is this? It seems to have far more to do with the hopeless and unwittingly funny performance values (dramas) of Mathieu and Michaux and even Soulages, who produced academic, abstract art (academic because figural and gestural and scared of wallpaper), than it does with the wider field of abstract painting. Pollockʼs works came ʻout ofʼ a sort of action, but what they speak of are questions that painting had to answer. They are good, when they are good, because it matters that we are intrigued as to how they are made, but our grasp of them does not replay a film in which Pollock pirouettes. They tell us that materiality, or literalness, and pictoriality – as meaning or content, including human content – are connected and disconnected in ways that continue to puzzle us. What doesnʼt worry us is that there is imposture in Pollock. (As Greenberg said, ʻPollock was full of shit just like everyone else.ʼ The safety of the academically-figural-plus-mess-asprovocation has long been abandoned.)Insisting on the glories of the semi-abstract (the Bacon model range), Deleuze notes approvingly that the ʻdiagramʼ, the chapter of smudges, smears and accidents, pictures or pictorial fragments suggested by the hand (the paint, etc.), does not cover the whole painting – or, as he puts it, ʻit must remain localized in space and time, it must not cover the entire paintingʼ. If it did not remain localized, the results would be ʻsloppyʼ. Well, it wouldnʼt be a Bacon-ish thing – a theatrical figure or a nameless something on a shallow stage. In short, it wouldnʼt be the conservative exercise that Baconʼs painting is. One is struck, over and over again, by the banal conventionality not only of the stuff under analysis, but also of the analysis itself, however apparently sophisticated. We might say that Deleuze gives it away on the last page. Itʼs Michelangelo who ʻinspiresʼ Bacon to put bodies in relation with forces. The pictorial fact in its pure state, distortion for all kinds of emotional effect, the autonomy of the artwork, and so on, were all born in mannerism. Of course. What Deleuze cannot account for, or at least doesnʼt enlighten us about, is the fact that the legacy of mannerism has gone through many transformations, redescriptions and reinventions. Bacon merely invokes Michelangelo (or, guess who: Velázquez, Van Gogh) by producing figures that, to the susceptible, look like figures by Michelangelo or hitch a ride on paintings by Velázquez. (It has to be said that he treated Van Gogh better.)Deleuzeʼs way with the ʻdiagramʼ has many features that literalize a virtual – that is, fictional – situation in Proustʼs Sodome et Gomorrhe. The Guermantesʼ fountain starts as a literal fountain, becomes a sign of art (a Hubert Robert picture of a fountain) that breaks up into jagged Cubistic pieces, only to return to its literal (fictional) form as a thing that wets a snobby onlooker. [18] Deleuzeʼs book is about Bacon, but Proustʼs text is folded in its pages. Its author, the apostle of the rhizomous many, is thus perhaps revealed as an apostle of the ʻessentialʼ and ʻthe pureʼ.


Elegantly argued and ʻauthoritativeʼ as Deleuzeʼs thesis may be, in so far as it touches on Bacon it is an apology for a particular form of what used to be called semi-abstract art. It can be acknowledged that the neither-one-thing-nor-the-other has long been close to our intellectual and cultural tastes and interests. The semi-abstract often has an instructive abjection as art – a diagrammatic power to reveal the contradictions and difficulties entailed by any art whose project is somehow to be anchored in realism. But Bacon is different. While his brand of semi-abstract art frequently depicts a sort of journalistic abjection, it is far from retiring or modest in its reflections. Indeed, it is an art that has or rather takes the best of everything it can in a project of artistic conservatism and self-regarding pessimism. Baconʼs people and sorts of bodies are made modern and expressive, or rather expressionist, by the paint on their faces or their arses.

Perhaps it is this kind of semi-abstract ʻhystericalʼ hiatus in Baconʼs paintings that enables Deleuzeʼs overripe figuring. It is possible that the Baconian catalogue of violence (the diagram) plus geometry, of the theatrical device masquerading as riveting pictoriality, of paintings unresolved and of the unresolved, of incompetence, of convulsions of the soul that must never be re-described as convulsions of the diaphragm, of neither one thing nor the other, is what gives Deleuze room to write. Ad Reinhardt said ʻSemiabstract is halfwitted, so to speakʼ. We know that artistic disasters are often more fruitful than seamless artistic successes. Viewed from outside the Deleuzean vessel, it may be that Baconʼs œuvre is a repetitive cycle of exemplary fuck-ups. Such things are good to write about for intellectuals who donʼt quite know how painting is painted and who care neither for the imposture nor for the difficulty involved.

For Deleuze, the paint itself swells and reaches out to meet our haptically sensate eye – reconstructs the figure as fact. Thatʼs a way to see it, so long as you donʼt see the actor or the dummy underneath. If that was all there was – a description of and an epochal imperative to the effect that a real Francis Bacon has made the really telling synthesis – then we might dismiss it as culturally conservative and trivial, taking a grim satisfaction in the thought that Deleuze – postmodernismʼs new Walter Benjamin – is in fact no more and no less than a commanding traditionalist in the finest French cultural mode.

On the inside, however, there is nothing that is ordinary and robust, or everyday and discursive. Deleuzeʼs ʻthird wayʼ has authenticated the continuity and unity of the eternal verities in a tradition that grows through Bergson and Proust to the officialdom of surrealism and its postwar enfants terribles. But this is Deleuze, after all. It will therefore be misunderstood by some and put to use as the theoretical background and Zeitgeist guarantee for a culture of callow spectacles – for dead meat in clinical containers, for the sterilization of blood and pain, for the downright silly made cheaply grand. For those who can put it to use, it will be ʻaboutʼ capitalism and desire. For those who canʼt, it will lend dignity to the genre of nasty journalistic hyperbole that, in breaking Victorian taboos, simply exploits them.


1. ^ Artscribe 53, July–August 1985, pp. 15–20.

2. ^ Both quotations from Warwick Anderson, ʻExcremental Colonialism: Public Health and the Poetics of Pollutionʼ, Critical Inquiry, vol. 21, no. 3, Spring 1995.

3. ^ Art & Language, ʻLetter to a Canadian Curatorʼ, Art–Language vol. 5, no. 1, October 1982, reprinted in C.

Harrison and P. Wood, eds, Art in Theory 1900–2000, Oxford, Blackwell, 2003, pp. 1040–41.

4. ^ Marcel Proust, À la recherche du temps perdu, édition publiée sous la direction de Jean-Yves Tadié, 4 vols, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, Gallimard, Paris, 1987–89, vol. 4, p. 453. All subsequent references are to this edition.

Unless otherwise indicated, all translations are ours.

5. ^ Ibid., p. 451.

6. ^ Gilles Deleuze, Proust et les signes, Quadrige/PUF,

Paris, 1964, p. 149. Translated into English by Richard Howard as Proust and Signs, Continuum, London and New York, 2000. All subsequent references are to the French text.

7. ^ Proust, À la recherche, vol. 4, pp. 448–9

8. ^ Ibid., p. 152.

9. ^ Georges Poulet, LʼEspace proustien, Gallimard, Paris, 1963, p. 50.

10. ^ See Deleuze, Proust et les signes, p. 34.

11. ^ Patrick ffrench, ʻ“Time in the Pure State”: Deleuze,

Proust and the Image of Timeʼ, in Carolyn Bailey Gill ed., Time and the Image, Manchester University Press,

Manchester, 2000, p. 162.

12. ^ Ibid.

13. ^ Deleuze, cited by ffrench in ibid. (See Deleuze, Proust et les signes, p. 60.)

14. ^ See ibid., p. 162.

15. ^ Proust, À la recherche, vol. 4, p. 451.

16. ^ Ibid., p. 450.

17. ^ ffrench, ʻ“Time in the Pure State”ʼ, p. 165.

18. ^ See Proust, À la recherche, vol. 3, p. 56.

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