Welcome !! A Call to Participants & "Faits Divers & Fate's Divers"

I started this blog as a site where poets, artists, Visual Poets, Mail Artists, researchers, essayists, reviewers, artist-ragers, zine makers, comix, graffiti makers may have a place to contribute and display works which express their visions of the historical and contemporary interelated lives of Anarchy & the Arts--
This site is for any persons who are actively interested in and working in these areas
Theoretical letters are welcome, stories, photos, anything which
investigates the everyday all around one with a questioning Anarkeyological spirit & energy. Insight and Incite!
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Since to an American ear and reader the homophonic punning possibilities of the title "Faits Divers" in French are completely absent, IL Maestro di "PAROLE IN LIBERACE" Professore G-A Vidiamodopo suggests instead the use of an American homophonic translation, in order to keep alive the sense of
"Une Joie de Vivre qui se trouve a travers les Jeux du Mots."
(A Joy of Life found through Plays on Words)

--and now allow me to turn over the podium to our illustrious and well-beloved colleague, Il Maestro, Giulio Agosto di Vidiamodopo--

the Fondatore, who has given us the eternally generative legacy of his never-to-exhausted "Grand Song of the Open Piano" under the sign of his immortal


echoes of which one may find in all manifestations Visual Sonic Visceral which in their very most particulate, singular and also massed, on-flowing wave existences acknowledge the inspiring and influential, ceaselessly experimenting presence of Il Maestro among their notations of Found and Accidental scores . .

Then, with a magnificent flourish, Il Maestro di Parole in Liberace enters stage left and announces the entry into the world of the "Faits Divers--Fates' Divers"--

Special Forces' Lieutenant X announces the Vernissage of his "Celestial Snuff Films" at Galeria Gore,Friday, 19:00-24:00 hr. Combining his Fighter Jet's elegantly enhanced and edited videos with his own high powered zoom photos and infra red images, the young hero creates the "Theater of Certain Death" as seen by both the "Omniscient Eye's View from Above," and the "subjective focus on the Eroticism of the Subject's Snuffing on the ground."

Exactly at 8, the New American Extreme Experimental Fascist Poets' opening salvo of "Militarized Morphemes" created Pure Terror. Renditioning subjects from the audience using Chance Operations, the Poets undertook "Interrogations of Parole" via the branding of each Tongue as a Forbidden Langue. By making speech mute, projected words announced, the subject existed now only as name brands of material language.

Felix Feneon Editing La Revue Blanche --painted by Felix Vallotton

Felix Feneon Editing La Revue Blanche --painted by Felix Vallotton

from Nouvelles en trois lignes/Three Line News Items/ Short Stories

Feneon created the simultaneous "news/"stories" of his Nouvelles
with perhaps "more in mind" than his own punning use of the Faits Divers' Nouvelles en trois lignes--

he may have been thinking also of the example of Gusrave Flaubert
who several decades earlier had created out of a provincial journal’s Faits Divers the novel Madame Bovary:

“Delphine Delamare, 27, wife of a medical officer in Ry, displayed insufficient austerity. Worse, she ran up debts. To avoid paying them, she took poison.”

Nurse Elise Bachmann, whose day off was yesterday, put
on a public display of insanity.

A complaint was sworn by the Persian physician Djai Khan
against a compatriot who had stolen from him a tiara.

A dozen hawkers who had been announcing news of a
nonexistent anarchist bombing at the Madeleine have
been arrested.

A certain madwoman arrested downtown falsely claimed
to be nurse Elise Bachmann. The latter is perfectly sane.

On Place du Pantheon, a heated group of voters attempted
to roast an effigy of M. Auffray, the losing candidate. They
were dispersed.

Arrested in Saint-Germain for petty theft, Joël Guilbert
drank sublimate. He was detoxified, but died yesterday of
delirium tremens.

The photographer Joachim Berthoud could not get over the
death of his wife. He killed himself in Fontanay-sous-Bois.

Reverend Andrieux, of Roannes, near Aurillac, whom a
pitiless husband perforated Wednesday with two rifle
shots, died last night.

In political disagreements, M. Begouen, journalist, and
M. Bepmale, MP, had called one another "thief" and
"liar." They have reconciled.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Histoires Vraies, True Stories--Delphine Bellay's Extraordinary Works Offer Clues Rather Than the Dramas of "Faits Divers"

Thinking about Felix Feneon' lifelong involvements with the criticism and selling of art,
of his close friendships with so many important painters of the quarter century preceding the writing of the 1906 “Faits Divers,"

I wondered if any contemporary artists have been inspired, not by Feneon’s artist friends, but reversing direction, by his own works and in particular the "Faits Divers.

By a miracle, I found myself in my “up in the air” wanderings suddenly confronting the extraordinary works of Delphine Bellay . . .

My great thanks and great admiration to Delphine Bellay, for her strikingly beautiful and mysterious works
who graciously
gave permission to display some of the “True Stories” and to quote her elegant and lucid statement for them in full.

Thanks also to Delphine’s representive
Pour plus d'informations, merci de contacter Galerie Le Réverbère, Lyon.
04 72 00 06 72, www.galerielereverbere.com

True Stories, 2006
Lambda print from negativs, on Hannemuhle paper

During the first phase of preparation, I took note of a number of fait-divers written like news briefs or less often, like aphorisms. Félix Fénéon, a columnist for the French newspaper Le Matin, and the American poet Reznilkof, have both been reliable sources. The stories I chose are about actual events but have been reduced to only the essential details.

After sorting through these stories and selecting the ones I found to be the most evocative, I made a list of individuals who would be useful as models: some I’d never actually met, some acquaintances, some friends. Putting faces to the names in the stories was phase two.

After I rewrote the stories to be more concise and found some individuals who agreed to play the murderers and maniacs, the third step was choosing accurate settings for each story. Sometimes, it seemed interesting to keep the characters in their original settings and accentuate certain details. At other times, it was necessary to change the setting altogether. Trying to find the right lighting, and one that kept with the atmosphere I had already imagined, was particularly long and detailed work. My mother and Emmaus were my dependable assistants.

If this series is not entitled Fait-Divers but True Stories, it’s because I didn’t try to reconstruct them as fait-divers themselves, drenched in drama. It was quite the opposite; I wanted to add some kind of image to each short text, a clue for the viewers, so that they themselves could become the detective. The pictures don’t necessarily represent the climax of the story, but rather a time just prior or after it. We never see the crime represented overtly in the photos, but it is present somewhere, as the image represents a moment in the stream of time.

Certain photos make us think of staged crime scenes, with actors playing the roles of the victims. Others seem to be pulled straight from a family photo album, taken before the crime and later added to the file. Some could have been of the criminal himself, posing for posterity, after committing his crime – it brings to my mind the picture of a black widow.

The photographs add a new dimension to the stories. The text and the image complement each other, giving the viewer a clearer perspective.

Delphine Balley
A French news category for stories that cannot be placed under the traditional rubrics; short news stories with no historical significance, often tragic, bloody, or gossipy; miscellaneous human interest stories; miscellaneous stories



Many of the "Faits Divers'" short stories make me think of the writing style a few decades later of the early hardboiled writers like Dashiell Hammett, and in French, the 'romans durs' of Georges Simenon. These writers strip down to the "hard core" basic elements they share with the Faits Divers’ and then “give them character” via a particular choice of tone and style.

The Faits Divers and hardboiled stories have in common the de rigeur requirements of journalism: the names, ages, genders, and, if possible, the professions of the person or persons involved. To this list add: the location of the event, the hometown of any person from out of town, and the time, date and if need be, duration of the event, followed by what, if any, conclusion to the event is known at the time of writing.

As one can see, simply noting down all this information swiftly fills up most of the space allowed in the Three Line Stories of the Faits Divers. The real art of the writer, then, follows roughly the method Poe set forth in his Philosophy of Composition." Taking as first consideration the effect to be created by, the writer then “reverse engineers” the structuring of the piece, choosing the syntactic and word combinations that will best detonate the final effect.

The hardboiled short stories, are built much like the “Faits Divers,” using journalistic information as the ”set up” to the story, and then carefully choosing the lexicons and syntactical arrangements to set the tone and speeds of the story so that when the final effect arrives, it "packs the most punch" of comedy, tragedy, beauty or absurdity.

The Psychological aspects of the hardboiled stories, Simeon’s works and Feneon’s, emerge from the tones and speeds created by the “fictional words” placed strategically among the “documentary.”

Thinking visually in terms of the "Faits Divers" and their hardboiled descendents, immediately one has the grainy images of crime scene photos, police mug shots, the combination of documentary reportage and lurid sensationalism which make up so many of the "dramatic scenes and events" of the "Faits Divers" and news wire photos.

The dramatic and sensational are the most obvious aspects of the Faits Divers to “work after,” making much more interesting the less sensational “in between spaces” in which the indeterminacy of the “outcome” and “effect” are still “up in the air.” Reopening the possibilities of these in-between spaces and moments in time, might not an artist create something quite different from the Faits Divers while keeping intact its basic elements?

By a miracle, I found myself in my “up in the air” wanderings suddenly confronting the extraordinary works of Delphine Bellay, which do indeed create quite a different—an opposite, as she says—vision out of the basic elements of the Faits Divers, the crime scene photo, and those openings among the Faits Divers in which the “Fact” of the events has not quite arrived, or has already happened.

One of the myriad things which really strikes me forcibly in these works is their clarity of realization, in every aspect of their construction and choices of persons, the colors and textures of the materials, the style in each image with which the light creates a tone of a presence which remains elusive. This sense of an absence which is palpable, and that the clues to its mysterious being are present, opens the effect-driven melodramas of the Fait Divers to several new angles of vision, to the asking of different questions and the creation of other scenarios.

The images invite one in—to find out for oneself “what has been going on,” and to create /recreate the story for oneself.

This “detective” aspect of the works, in which the viewer is invited in in order to “read and see” clues leading to a “solution” which is suspended in time, turns the “effect” of the Faits Divers inside out, and onto the at first “clueless” reader and viewer of the combinations of texts and images.

This return of uncertainty to the reader/viewer removes the “certainty of the effect’s arrival,” and turns each person who approaches into a detective suddenly fallen out of the “Faits Divers” and into a “True Story.”

My great thanks and great admiration to Delphine Bellay, for her strikingly beautiful and mysterious works
who graciously
gave permission to display some of the “True Stories” and to quote her elegant and lucid statement for them in full.

Thanks also to Delphine’s representive
Pour plus d'informations, merci de contacter Galerie Le Réverbère, Lyon.
04 72 00 06 72, www.galerielereverbere.com

Photo Album Histoires Vraies, True Stories, 2006 Mar 11, '07 7:36 AM
for everyone

Histoires vraies
(tirages lambda d'aprés négatifs sur papier Hannemuhle, formats divers)

« Durant la première phase de préparation, j’ai pris en note de nombreux faits divers rédigés sous forme de brèves, voire d’aphorismes. Félix Fénéon, chroniqueur au Matin, a été une source privilégiée, ainsi que le travail du poète américain Reznilkof. Toutes les histoires sélectionnées sont tirées de faits avérés mais réduits à l’essentiel.
« Après avoir fait le tri d’histoires vraies, et sélectionné les plus évocatrices à mon goût, j’ai dressé une liste de gens qui allaient me servir de comédiens : des inconnus croisés ici et là, des connaissances, des amis. Des gueules qui seraient la seconde matière première de ce travail de reconstition de faits divers.
« Du moment où j’ai eu les textes, réécrits pour les rendre toujours plus compacts, et un certain nombre d’acteurs d’accord avec la démarche de poser en assassins ou en maniaques, la troisième étape a été de repérer des lieux où auraient pu se commettre les histoires. Parfois il a semblé intéressant de conserver le sujet dans son intérieur, en accentuant certains détails. D’autres fois il était nécessaire de le sortir de son décor intime et de le remettre en scène ailleurs. Le travail sur la lumière a été particulièrement long et fastidieux, afin de faire coïncider l’atmosphère à ce que j’imaginais. Ma mère et Emmaüs ont été mes accessoiristes privilégiés.

« Si cette série ne s’intitule pas Faits divers mais Histoires vraies, c’est que je n’ai pas essayé de reconstituer le fait divers en lui-même, dans sa dimension spectaculaire. Au contraire, j’ai voulu ajouter à ces courts textes une image qui servirait d’indice, voire de preuve pour que les spectateurs puissent mener leur propre enquête. Les instants proposés ne représentent donc pas l’acmé de l’action, mais un avant ou un après dans l’action. On ne voit jamais le crime se commettre, mais le crime est présent quelque part, en amont ou en aval de l’image.
« Certaines photographies font nettement penser à des reconstitutions policières, avec des acteurs jouant le rôle des victimes. D’autres semblent au contraire tirées d’albums de famille, en tout cas réalisées avant le crime et comme plus tard ajoutées au dossier. Enfin certains clichés pourraient avoir pour origine le criminel lui-même, posant pour la postérité, le crime une fois commis – je pense notamment à la photographie de la Veuve noire.
« Tous ces clichés proposent une nouvelle dimension à l’histoire. Le texte et l’image se complètent pour permettre au spectateur de compléter le drame. »

Delphine Balley


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