Fictionalism: La Chinoise, Madames Absinthe & Oppio



Fictionalism. A new movement. Its manifesto: fantasy, imagination, lies, mythologies, currents and undercurrents of desire, fears, ambitions, aspirations, anxieties, and the vast range of human emotions contribute to creating the work of visual art. Hm, not much of a manifesto, but rather a description of the process that may or may not lead to the production of a work of art, great or poor that it may turn out to be .

Fictionalism. The set piece, the painting, as a fiction, an alternative history, a meta-history, an unwritten chapter of the life you might have lived, or would like to live, or simply a page in a book, a large page given the size of the above painting – 106 x 96 cm – that the observer enters, plays upon, participates in, loses him/her self in what becomes a different commedia, play.

Fictionalism. It requires your participation. A performance piece. A mental, imaginative one.

Not for the first time, but less frequently than I presumably ought to, I sat in an armchair on completing La Chinoise. I sipped my tea and looked at the painting. I just stared.

The more I looked, the more I was drawn into the picture, into the room, onto the bed, the women. I smelled the perfumes, scents, incense, the body odour. I could hear the noise from the Street outside the wooden storm Windows. I could see the curtains move and reading the ancient proverbs inscribed on the walls. I touched the bodies of the two women, and saw myself with the pale Chinoise lying naked and pearly White on the stark black satin sheets. I tasted the absinthe, smoked the opium. I lay in bed staring into her eyes, stroking her legs, while more liquid gurgled into a glass, and a match was struck. A flicker, then darkness, silence.

I would never leave this room.

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