Grace à Fourier

Robert Filliou


Mixed Media, 34 x 55 x 5.5 cm.
Materials: cardboard box, b/w photograph, paper

Collection: Richard Saltoun Gallery, London.

Robert Filliou may be regarded as an activist who wants to substitute a poetical economy for the political economy, but also as an entrepreneur (who hardly made any money), a pedagogue (in theory and practice) and a mystic (whose last project was to be a three years, three months and three days long meditation retreat in a Buddhist monastery in Dordogne).

Excerpt of the conversation between Robert Filliou (RF) and Irmeline Lebeer (IL), Flayosc, France, August 1976.

RF: Through my experience of art, rather early in the 1960s (no later than in 1963), I began to talk about the Principles of Poetical Economy. I developed this little by little, remembering that all economic theories, like Marx’s, start with developing a new theory of value. I told myself I should do for our times what Marx had done for his. That was ‘tongue-in-cheek’. And above all, Fourier had done it already. Therefore the small publications that I'm preparing right now – Principes d’économie poétique (Principles of Poetical Economy), Dessins sans voir – Desseins sans savoir (Drawings without Seeing: Designs without Knowing) – are all dedicated to Fourier. Grâce à Fourier (Thanks to Fourier), that’s the first page. I moved from the poetical economy to researching a new theory of value and practice. These are theoretical points of view that I don’t even know how to apply myself.

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