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Writings and Manifestoes by Franck Gribling


Franck Gribling ,
Disegno , ergo sum .
in : Apriori Drawing ,ed.Makkom,1987 , p.30-32 .(ISBN 90-6837-019-7)

"I draw , therfore I am . The drawing is essentially a trace of the hand as an extension ot the body , a physical movement directed by the mind , recorded and visualized on a two dimensional plane , a blank sheet of paper , a virgin beach ,it does not matter , time and space reduced to a line that slips , swells , declines , a scratch that can express emotion , recorded energy , a seismografic vibration registered on the scale of Richter , readable in all its vehemence . A drawing is a handwriting with an unmistakably personal character . Drawing is occupying and marking out an area , staking out a territory , the extension of the body that transcends itself , the expression of the ego . It is an atavistic activity that has to do with the sphere of totem and taboo , an anchronism in a time in which so many more complex technological media are available and microchips store all thinkable information . So drawing has not much to do with signifying . Signification is secondary . A drawing originates physically and is experioenced physically . To the spectator it is an emphatic experience , in which all the muscles are engaged , not only the eye . You dont"t see a drawing in the twinkling of an eye , like a painting , but you sense the direction and action of the line , somewhere in your body , from top to toe . That is why looking at a drawing is an intimate activity , that cannot tolerate a big attendance. Devotees of drawing are solitatry admirers . The traditional twilight in many drawing cabinets has not only a technical reason , the protection of fragile paper against harmfull light ,it is also the proper atmosphere of the true lover . It is an illusion that pure drawing can be a reliable reproduction of what we see . Generations of academic drawing-teachers have tried to train eye and hand into a synchronized mechanism , without result . Hand and eye hardly correspond . There is always the difference between seeing and doing . In fact the hand goes its own way and is an insufficient instrument to record the wealth of perception . Photography is a much more suitable medium to fixe visual data. Historically the drawing , according to the ancient Greeks , once emerged as a means to record shadow images of reality , but it has freed itself from the hopeless and doomed dependency of the eye since the invention of photography . Since then the drawing is no longer a preparatory sketch , no longer an ebauche of the more perfect painting . It has become an autonomous sign , that in the first place refers to the action which it is based upon . That this action sometimes refers to a recognizable form , is a side issue . Of course the "motif" , as it was called inj the nineteenth cenury , can still be a reason to activate the hand . Still Van Gogh could not do without this "motif". Yet it is essential that a drawing obeys its own laws ." The medium is the message " ,applies also to the drawing . As a medium drawing is timeless and irreplacable . It is a residue of independence of the individual , a kind of Arte Povera in a time in which sedutive new technologies are often linked to powers and interests that are hostile to art . I draw , therefore I am . Drawing is still the most direct testony of human presence . It is a confirmation of our existence , and a trace of vital activity .

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