Ego (Renaud) : Le Geste du regard

This book examines the birth of painting, by studying the era when the drawings first appeared : the prehistory. Those proofs of the presence of creative beings among our ancestors never cease to amaze. But if the prehistorians focused on the practical purposes of those creations, Renaud Ego here focused on the desire behind those first paintings : the mental path that led to the genesis of art, and to the first representation of a world now gone.

2017 / 16 x 20 cm / 104 p. / ISBN : 979-10-92444-52-0

Essay / Art / Creation / Prehistory / ainting

Date de publication : 22 août 2018

The discovery of prehistorical paintings was followed by the strong feeling of an apparition. This enchantment culminated with the discovery of the Lascaux caves and the Chauvet caves. But an amazement keeps on encircling the paintings, leaving a veil on our eyes, a blind spot that has still not disappear. It is true that the prehistorians have focused their studies, not on this innovative gesture, which makes the world visible thanks to the drawings, but on the supposed uses of these first pictures : a decorative hobby or an attempt to inflect the hunting success thanks to “sympathetic magic” ; an attempt to represent a mythology, made of couples of animals, which embody a sexual conception of the world, or a shamanic ritual used for religious contact. But the question of the drawing genesis is still unanswered. We are so much surrounded by pictures that we forget the prodigious advance it represents. To synthetize a form or a living being in a few lines, to capture the appearances, is a great intellectual act. What could have been the desire, so patiently pursued, which led to the birth of this art ? From the thought to the drawings, can we track down the intellectual path ?

Renaud Ego is the author of a work open to the different genres composing literature. Among the books he wrote, there are stories such as Une légende des yeux (Actes sud, 2010), poems as Le Désastre d’Éden (Paroles d’Aube, 1995) and essays on literature, on architecture and on art. He also introduced in France the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer, laureate of the Nobel Prize, of whom he prefaced the collected works (Gallimard, 2004).

Foreign Rights

L’Atelier contemporain attempts to publish books of art and literature and books which associate artists and writers, with the concern to revive a dialogue between the literary and plastic arts.
The ambition is to explore the « paths of the création » through five collections gathered within the company : essays on art, written by artists, conversations and correspondences, monographs, and literature.