Only in solitude does she have time to discover the secrets which mean she will never be alone again. From and the hidden crimes of Vichy France, to the present day and forgiveness; from the sun-baked vineyards of Roussillon, to the lush, green coast of Cornwall, a story of a friendship which knew no bounds, poisonous jealousy: and a love which refused to die.
Down with the Bourgeois Republic! Down with Its Constitution! – Amadeo Bordiga
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No customer reviews. It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom — Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation. The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honoured and looked up to with reverent awe.
It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage labourers.
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The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation. The bourgeoisie has disclosed how it came to pass that the brutal display of vigour in the Middle Ages, which reactionaries so much admire, found its fitting complement in the most slothful indolence.
It has accomplished wonders far surpassing Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, and Gothic cathedrals; it has conducted expeditions that put in the shade all former Exoduses of nations and crusades. The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society.
Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify.
All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind. The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the entire surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connexions everywhere.
The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world market given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country. To the great chagrin of Reactionists, it has drawn from under the feet of industry the national ground on which it stood. All old-established national industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed.
They are dislodged by new industries, whose introduction becomes a life and death question for all civilised nations, by industries that no longer work up indigenous raw material, but raw material drawn from the remotest zones; industries whose products are consumed, not only at home, but in every quarter of the globe. In place of the old wants, satisfied by the production of the country, we find new wants, requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands and climes.
In place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we have intercourse in every direction, universal inter-dependence of nations. And as in material, so also in intellectual production. The intellectual creations of individual nations become common property. National one-sidedness and narrow-mindedness become more and more impossible, and from the numerous national and local literatures, there arises a world literature.
The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilisation. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilisation into their midst, i. In one word, it creates a world after its own image. The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life.
Just as it has made the country dependent on the towns, so it has made barbarian and semi-barbarian countries dependent on the civilised ones, nations of peasants on nations of bourgeois, the East on the West. The bourgeoisie keeps more and more doing away with the scattered state of the population, of the means of production, and of property.
It has agglomerated population, centralised the means of production, and has concentrated property in a few hands. The necessary consequence of this was political centralisation. Independent, or but loosely connected provinces, with separate interests, laws, governments, and systems of taxation, became lumped together into one nation, with one government, one code of laws, one national class-interest, one frontier, and one customs-tariff. The bourgeoisie, during its rule of scarce one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together.
We see then: the means of production and of exchange, on whose foundation the bourgeoisie built itself up, were generated in feudal society. At a certain stage in the development of these means of production and of exchange, the conditions under which feudal society produced and exchanged, the feudal organisation of agriculture and manufacturing industry, in one word, the feudal relations of property became no longer compatible with the already developed productive forces; they became so many fetters.
They had to be burst asunder; they were burst asunder. Into their place stepped free competition, accompanied by a social and political constitution adapted in it, and the economic and political sway of the bourgeois class. A similar movement is going on before our own eyes. Modern bourgeois society, with its relations of production, of exchange and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells.
For many a decade past the history of industry and commerce is but the history of the revolt of modern productive forces against modern conditions of production, against the property relations that are the conditions for the existence of the bourgeois and of its rule. It is enough to mention the commercial crises that by their periodical return put the existence of the entire bourgeois society on its trial, each time more threateningly.
In these crises, a great part not only of the existing products, but also of the previously created productive forces, are periodically destroyed. In these crises, there breaks out an epidemic that, in all earlier epochs, would have seemed an absurdity — the epidemic of over-production. Society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of momentary barbarism; it appears as if a famine, a universal war of devastation, had cut off the supply of every means of subsistence; industry and commerce seem to be destroyed; and why? Because there is too much civilisation, too much means of subsistence, too much industry, too much commerce.
The productive forces at the disposal of society no longer tend to further the development of the conditions of bourgeois property; on the contrary, they have become too powerful for these conditions, by which they are fettered, and so soon as they overcome these fetters, they bring disorder into the whole of bourgeois society, endanger the existence of bourgeois property. The conditions of bourgeois society are too narrow to comprise the wealth created by them. And how does the bourgeoisie get over these crises?
On the one hand by enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces; on the other, by the conquest of new markets, and by the more thorough exploitation of the old ones. That is to say, by paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises, and by diminishing the means whereby crises are prevented.
Going Down Swinging
The weapons with which the bourgeoisie felled feudalism to the ground are now turned against the bourgeoisie itself. But not only has the bourgeoisie forged the weapons that bring death to itself; it has also called into existence the men who are to wield those weapons — the modern working class — the proletarians. In proportion as the bourgeoisie, i. These labourers, who must sell themselves piecemeal, are a commodity, like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market.
Owing to the extensive use of machinery, and to the division of labour, the work of the proletarians has lost all individual character, and, consequently, all charm for the workman. He becomes an appendage of the machine, and it is only the most simple, most monotonous, and most easily acquired knack, that is required of him. Hence, the cost of production of a workman is restricted, almost entirely, to the means of subsistence that he requires for maintenance, and for the propagation of his race. But the price of a commodity, and therefore also of labour, is equal to its cost of production.
In proportion, therefore, as the repulsiveness of the work increases, the wage decreases. In the s, the group defended the use of sexual imagery in artwork. In Bourgeois was commissioned by the General Services Administration to create Facets of the Sun , her first public sculpture. Until then, she had been a peripheral figure in art whose work was more admired than acclaimed. In an interview with Artforum , timed to coincide with the opening of her retrospective, she revealed that the imagery in her sculptures was wholly autobiographical.
She shared with the world that she obsessively relived through her art the trauma of discovering, as a child, that her English governess was also her father's mistress. In , Bourgeois made a drypoint etching, Mud Lane , of the home she maintained in Stapleton, Staten Island, which she treated as a sculptural environment rather than a living space.
Bourgeois had another retrospective in at Documenta 9 in Kassel, Germany. She created the piece I Do , depicting two flowers growing from one stem, to benefit the nonprofit organization Freedom to Marry. Bourgeois has said "Everyone should have the right to marry. To make a commitment to love someone forever is a beautiful thing. The New York Times said that her work "shared a set of repeated themes, centered on the human body and its need for nurture and protection in a frightening world.
Her husband, Robert Goldwater , died in Her first son, Michel, died in Femme Maison —47 is a series of paintings in which Bourgeois explores the relationship of a woman and the home. In the works, women's heads have been replaced with houses, isolating their bodies from the outside world and keeping their minds domestic.
This theme goes along with the dehumanization of modern art. Destruction of the Father is a biographical and a psychological exploration of the power dominance of father and his offspring. The piece is a flesh-toned installation in a soft and womb-like room. Made of plaster, latex, wood, fabric, and red light, Destruction of the Father was the first piece in which she used soft materials on a large scale.
Upon entering the installation, the viewer stands in the aftermath of a crime. Set in a stylized dining room with the dual impact of a bedroom , the abstract blob-like children of an overbearing father have rebelled, murdered, and eaten him. But this goes on day after day. There is tragedy in the air. Once too often he has said his piece.
He is unbearably dominating although probably he does not realize it himself. A kind of resentment grows and one day my brother and I decided, 'the time has come! We took him apart and dismembered him, we cut off his penis. And he became food. We ate him up She was 70 years old and a mixed media artist who worked on paper, with metal, marble and animal skeletal bones.
Childhood family traumas "bred an exorcism in art" and she desperately attempted to purge her unrest with her work. She felt she could get in touch with issues of female identity, the body, the fractured family, long before the art world and society considered them expressed subjects in art. This was Bourgeous's way to find her center and stabilize her emotional unrest. The New York Times said at the time that "her work is charged with tenderness and violence, acceptance and defiance, ambivalence and conviction.
While in her eighties, Bourgeois produced two series of enclosed installation works she referred to as Cells. Many are small enclosures into which the viewer is prompted to peer inward at arrangements of symbolic objects; others are small rooms into which the viewer is invited to enter.
In the cell pieces, Bourgeois uses earlier sculptural forms, found objects as well as personal items that carried strong personal emotional charge for the artist. The cells enclose psychological and intellectual states, primarily feelings of fear and pain. Bourgeois stated that the Cells represent "different types of pain; physical, emotional and psychological, mental and intellectual Each Cell deals with a fear. Fear is pain Each Cell deals with the pleasure of the voyeur, the thrill of looking and being looked at. In the late s, Bourgeois began using the spider as a central image in her art.
Maman , which stands more than nine metres high, is a steel and marble sculpture from which an edition of six bronzes were subsequently cast. The Spider is an ode to my mother. She was my best friend. Like a spider, my mother was a weaver. My family was in the business of tapestry restoration, and my mother was in charge of the workshop. Like spiders, my mother was very clever. Spiders are friendly presences that eat mosquitoes. We know that mosquitoes spread diseases and are therefore unwanted. So, spiders are helpful and protective, just like my mother. One must see them in person to feel their impact.
They are not threatening or protecting, but bring out the depths of anxiety within you. Bachelard's findings from psychologists' tests show that an anxious child will draw a tall narrow house with no base. Bourgeois's printmaking flourished during the early and late phases of her career: in the s and s, when she first came to New York from Paris, and then again starting in the s, when her work began to receive wide recognition. Early on, she made prints at home on a small press, or at the renowned workshop Atelier That period was followed by a long hiatus, as Bourgeois turned her attention fully to sculpture.
It was not until she was in her seventies that she began to make prints again, encouraged first by print publishers. She set up her old press, and added a second, while also working closely with printers who came to her house to collaborate. A very active phase of printmaking followed, lasting until the artist's death. Over the course of her life, Bourgeois created approximately 1, printed compositions. In , Bourgeois decided to donate the complete archive of her printed work to The Museum of Modern Art. One theme of Bourgeois's work is that of childhood trauma and hidden emotion.
After Louise's mother became sick with influenza Louise's father began having affairs with other women, most notably with Sadie, Louise's English tutor. Louise was extremely watchful and aware of the situation. This was the beginning of the artist's engagement with double standards related to gender and sexuality, which was expressed in much of her work.
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She recalls her father saying "I love you" repeatedly to her mother, despite infidelity. This dilemma is not only represented by the shape of the sculpture, but also the heaviness of the material this piece is made of. Architecture and memory are important components of Bourgeois's work. In numerous interviews, Louise describes architecture as a visual expression of memory, or memory as a type of architecture. The memory which is featured in much of her work is an invented memory - about the death or exorcism of her father.
The imagined memory is interwoven with her real memories including living across from a slaughterhouse and her father's affair. To Louise her father represented injury and war, aggrandizement of himself and belittlement of others and most importantly a man who represented betrayal. The mirrors within the present an altered and distorted reality. Sexuality is undoubtedly one of the most important themes in the work of Louise Bourgeois.
The link between sexuality and fragility or insecurity is also powerful. It has been argued that this stems from her childhood memories and her father's affairs. The flexing leg and arm muscles indicate that the Spiral Woman is still above though she is being suffocated and hung. The spiral in her work demonstrates the dangerous search for precarious equilibrium, accident-free permanent change, disarray, vertigo, whirlwind.
There lies the simultaneously positive and negative, both future and past, breakup and return, hope and vanity, plan and memory. Louise Bourgeois's work is powered by confessions, self-portraits, memories, fantasies of a restless being who is seeking through her sculpture a peace and an order which were missing throughout her childhood.