The « Idea of Risk » by Antoine Thelamon

The « Idea of Risk »   By Antoine Thelamon   What we see is almost never what we think it is actually occurring or had happened. Gustavo Artigas (Mexico, 1970) is a conjuror that distracts us. We know there is something and we conjecture about what this could be. The truth is that we often miss the trick. The reason is simple. Artigas had no particular expectations but build his narrative structures on the expectations of others, whether they are spectators or actors. This relation from which Artigas is relatively (physically) absent, ultimately gives sense (in the double acception of the expression, meaning and direction) to his work. He clues us with a particular setting and observes us from the outside. He sets a specific type of utterance, a zone of possibilities, from which he deliberately frees himself and abandons any determinant control. This breach, between his idea and what is « really » occurring, is the artifactual condition of possibility that allows the viewers and actors to engage a dialectical appropriation and interpretation of an idea loosely trapped in the work itself. The work is what we think it is and exists at the intersection of possible (concurrent) worlds. Most of the time complex local circumstances such as chance, individual psychology and group cohesion ultimately dictate the outcomes, which are, per se, unpredictable even though a spectrum of plausible outcomes may be considered. The causal relationships thus remain purely speculative beforehand. Everything happening as if the apparent simplicity of the narrative represents a class of language that has to be considered as simulacra elaborated to distract us from the real meaning of the action that is taking place or what Artigas really means by showing us a specific result, this specific outcome. These conflicting perceptions and fictional elements carry complex consequences that surpass the apparent simplicity of the composition of the work itself. Artigas experimentations and actions release their decisive effects as they operate outside our normal concept of fear, danger, anxiety and sometimes flout our moral conceptions when we finally came close to understand the situation, yet never totally. These moral games deliberately elaborated entangle the participants in what one could consider an ambiguous « safe-or-risk situations ». Because Artigas can never calculate beforehand the implications of his performances and interventions on one’s physical integrity and psychology, they fully unleash their powerful effects on the possibility to go « wrong » which is the minimal condition of possibility on which the efficiency of the work itself is based. A soccer and a basketball team invited to play simultaneously on the same court (The Rules Of The Game, 2001), a man bursting in flames during an opening speech (Spontaneous Human Combustion, 2002), a stuntman on a motorcycle crashing a museum lobby wall (Emergency Exit, 2001), a simulated fire in the Museum of History of Panama City (2003) or a strange orange smoke coming out from a subway station in construction (Chemical Misunderstanding, 2004), all these situations even though meticulously scripted have a common denominator: the effect of surprise that makes an artifice enter into the realm of a plausible life-or-death situation. The realism of the artifact makes plausible the eventuality that something may happen or had happened (the smoke coming out from buildings), impressions that could be real in their consequences as they could potentially generate unpredictable, anxiogenic or irrational patterns of behaviors which in return can have dramatic consequences. These artifices bear strong performative effects as they act on us as we act on them. They force us to question our tolerance to accept such moral dilemma once we understand what is actually occurring in the development of the action. It’s certainly one thing to think of moral terms in the abstract, and another, to examine a moral choice in a real situation that creates a transactional complicity between the artist and the viewers.   Artigas devices create a hypnotizing attraction making the viewers his accomplices as they draw in our mind a thin line between sanity and insanity. We are never totally freed from the doubt: was he totally aware, in conscious, of the potential risk to put someone’s life or integrity (psychological of physical) in danger? How can anybody take the responsibility to deliberately create situations in which people can be injured? Whether we are witnesses, viewers, accomplices or actors or sequentially all of them in the representation of the work, we never totally escape from self-interrogating us on how they have acted on us and why we did not walk away from them. The doubt actualizes this moral introspection although, as if it was easier to accept our almost guilty participation, we retrospectively invoke that we knew from the beginning the artifactual nature of the situation we witnessed. As if the transfigurative process of a potentially real situation into a work of art could totally free us from questioning the meaning of our own participation. Does the impossible event (death, injury…) that we consciously tend to dissimulate, exonerate us from feeling guilty in the end? The doubt we have leaves us in a state of irresolution. But what if Artigas perverts a potentially risky and hazardous situation into game configuration to better trap us in our own contradictions and force us to consider our (in)actions as guilty.   The question of conflicting perceptions and moral disturbance is probably more salient and paradigmatic in Vive la Resistance! (École des Beaux Arts de Toulouse, 2004) although the metaphorical form it has may look like a benign situation: a game, a real popular game, played in Mexican cantinas. The device is simple: a battery to which two cables are connected and end in metal bars. A group of people holds hands forming an electrical circuit. The aim of the game: tolerate the highest charge of electricity, the intensity of the charge being diluted in the chain the participants form. The game stops when one participant cannot bear the strength of the electric current and interrupts the circuit. Artigas’ re-interpretation of the game can somehow be assimilated to a variation of the basic experiments lead by Stanley Milgram about obedience to authority as central dynamics in social behaviours[1]. In the same vein and with a slightly different experiment, Salomon Asch demonstrated the power of conformity within groups and how people can conform to something obviously wrong[2]. Even though this pattern cannot totally apply to this particular game situation, it still does carry similar effects by directing and altering the attitudes of the participants in their face-to-face interactions (and as a group) on the same mode. Their interaction guides the impressions that each one can have of themselves individually and as a group. Avoiding being embarrassed and not loosing face can be a strong stimulus to perform a certain class of action. In other words, to maintain the stability of the definition of the interaction (the principle of the game that structures the interaction and from which a certain attitude is expected from those who have an interest in the game) the participants have to, and tend to, maintain a certain face in relation to this particular interaction and in this specific context[3].   The route Artigas explored in this particular experiment, Vive la resistance! is decisive in another aspect. It engages us to mirror the power and the complex combinatory of emotions, the oscillation between pain and pleasure, the nuance of emotion and tension, the complexity of the facial expressions, conflicting emotions and ambivalent sentiments under particular circumstances. The « arc of emotions » depicted in Vive la Resistance! has a fascinating familiarity with the experiment and beliefs of Guillaume Benjamin Armand Duchenne’s, a French physician who explored the relationship between the muscle in the human face and facial expressions triggering muscular contractions with electrical probes[4]. Often distorted and grotesque expressions of the human face, Duchenne sought to understand the very conditions that aesthetically constitute beauty and capture the « truth » of these expressions of passions by photography. He actually believed that only electroshock and specific environmental features could accurately generate the arc of human emotions. In the tie that Artigas purposely made with Duchenne, he excavated a heuristic correspondence and referent but with a new mode of representation of emotions. The video replaces photography in this sequence of revealing the « truth » of emotions.   Vive la Resistance! provokes a psychological and perceptual distortion in ourselves as if, all of a sudden, we could indentify behind the turbulent surface of the participant’s expressions our own guilty participation as alter ego in this permutational and self-reflective double-cross mirroring. The suffering becomes tangible and discomfort might arise as we cannot fully decide what is true or not, if they pretend or if, in the presence of others, they had no other choice than enduring pain. Ambiguity creates internal disturbance and embarrassment. Proximity materializes the pathological space of our own mixed emotions. We suffer as if we were them. Distance is abolished, at least temporarily. How emotions (potentially extreme) can actually be represented? How can we convey the complexity of emotions by depicting the faces and the bodies of the participants? Artigas leads us toward self-knowledge and obliquely re-contextualizes his experiment as a humanist, in the Renaissance acception of the expression.   Artigas experimentations make social conventions and risky dynamics otherwise visible. He somehow manipulates us and distracts us from what is really at stake in the situation: the conformity of people to act in a certain way and our seemingly sordid complicity, as witnesses (spectators), that prefigures our participation as accomplices and voyeurs in the development of his experiments. This game scenario briefly suspends our guilty participation by superimposing game perception over reality. It’s a game, just a game, nothing else. This dissociation we spontaneously activate, temporally blurs and suspends any moral disturbance, as we do not recognize them as real situations. Artigas situations create dissociative effects and displace our voyeuristic complicity to another level. As long as our fears are not met, as long as no accident occurs, as long as the performative act of our viewing does not produce fateful consequences, we are freed from moral interrogations and it seems that the situations do not impose us to formulate such ontological concerns. Alas, we are both victim and accomplice of what we see. Situations are beyond our control. They act on us and we act on them by the simple fact of our presence. These situations are fictional systems and a lure that distracts us from what really matters: our viewing closes on us as a chiasmatic moral trap. This system is threateningly effective as we might not be completely conscious of our viewing as a decisive element. We are self-entrapped despite ourselves. The effect of surprise, hazard and occurrences structure a zone of transactional complicity that the presence of the spectator makes potentially risky and morally questionable as if we were caught up by our own viewing in a helpless dilemma. The situation could not exist as both risky and potentially immoral without our presence. The unconscious is probably performative and reveals something transcendental about us in the sequential development of the game situations. It reveals our ambiguous presence and complicates our sense of what is real or not. The moment in which the critical shift from our perception of the situation as real to an ex post rationalization of the situation as fictional draws a thin line between the primacy of individual conscience and the acceptance of conventional social norm of conducts whatever could be the consequences of our behaviours as spectators. Can we divest ourselves from these ontological and moral questioning by attributing the full responsibility to Artigas? After all, he creates the situations and we are free to accept and participate or simply walk away. The disappearance of the sense of responsibility and the conformity to group pressure are structural dynamics in the development of the game situations Artigas offers us to participate in. These situations might be modest in their moral dilemma but they make us adopt a radical different focus as we consider them as fictional ones. The game predicament nullifies any potential sense of guilt because its fundamental structure requires us to perform a certain class of conducts in relation to the situation. We do not necessarily respond with a moral sentiment to the events we witness or participate in, our concern is rather can we properly assess these situations and behave in conformity with it, are we proud because we know the subtleties of the game and we can decrypt the action, or are we embarrassed because the situation has no immediate meaning. Artigas tests our limits and alters our perception of what we should adequately do by juxtaposing different systems of norm and social conventions in a specific situation. Artigas performances carry dissociative effects. This fracture of the « I », this perceptional operation that splits our « I » in multiple personalities generates a sense of « uneasiness », of « strangeness », as if these situations could, at any moment, reveal something we did not know about ourselves, or we did not want to reveal to others, something about our understanding, acceptance and tolerance to certain situations. Everything is happening as if we had doppelgangers (alter ego). As a mirror, Artigas œuvre reflects and metaphorically doubles an image, the double nature of our conflicted self. We pass into his reality and his reality into ours. No image has priority over the other; they simply coexist in a different moment and time. Artigas introduces a new order of reflection (in every sense of the word) in a fictional system that seems to have no limit. Every situation operates differently but repeatedly, conceptually closing an infinite universe of events that trap us despite ourselves.   Artigas is dual, multiple sometimes. Duplex (2001) externalizes this chiasm, a sort of disorder of origins, the catharsis of an internalized doppelganger who haunts him and makes him oscillate between game and introspection. In his early works, such reflection is probably not so blatant and identity is not a persistent theme for him. In Duplex the question of identity is crucial. Duplex is a pure structure of (self) reflection that materializes fragmented perceptions of what art is from multiple schizophrenic perspectives or, as he states it, from multiple personality disorder. In this performance, five lecturers physically alike to Artigas intervened in the gallery exhibition of the Fundación Telefónica in Madrid to construct a narrative about certain aspects of repetition in the Arts. Artigas and his doubles instill a physical structure of duplication and reversibility of his own practice. If they borrow my identity, my name and if I accept such permutational system, would my work still be perceived as original? Or from another perspective, would one see a solid linearity in the development of my art? Clearly Duplex is marked by a kind of critical self-consciousness concerning the dialectical relations between the definition and boundaries one has with Artigas aesthetic experience on one hand, and different modes of representation of the same experience but from different point of view on the other. Is the idea of the work from the artist the most important aspect of the work or is it its extension in the realization of an object or image by others? Or, finally, is art still interesting to think about or to look at despite serial repetitions? Artigas’ game situation and fictional narratives are ludicrously simple, yet inject into his art deeply significant ideas that relate to epistemological and ontological issues.   The Risk Painting series initiated in 2009 is undoubtedly the purest and more advanced conceptualization of all Artigas’ intellectual investigation as it condenses the visual formalization of all his past experiments or, to follow a scientific analogy, this series represents a recursively axiomatizable theory in which one can intuitively, both logically and formally, identify a system of axioms, concepts and ideas: a set of specific symbols, codes and aesthetic compositions of Artigas’ visual language through which we can subtly read the themes of danger, risk, disaster, misperception and ambiguity he recurrently explores. This investigation is nonetheless a breach from his previous work and, paradoxically, does exist in relation to his other work of art, past and present, as it introduces a critical inquiry between different modes of representation. The Risk Paintings is a series within a series (the œuvre of Gustavo Artigas) although it contains in itself an autonomous system of reference. Each Risk Painting is potentially understandable on its own even though it can be plainly readable only in the conceptual relation of dependence with the other elements of the same series[5]. Paradoxically, it’s this sense of continuity that maintains the direction and the validity of this critical language to address the question of the effects of art in a conceptual context that lays on the sequential alteration of literal properties of an object (the pigment, the color, the scale of the canvas) and their metaphorical properties (the effects they create) or, to say it differently, the potential asymmetry between depiction and description. Finally, the tension between two modes of representation of a same (?) object, its visual and verbal forms are in fine defined in different realms. Artigas critical and technical language to address this question is simple: colour (a pure pigment) and, at the center of the canvas a definition of that colour extracted from textbooks, safety sheets or hazard manuals. The particularity of the definition is that it relates the pigment (the colour) to the injuries it causes when ingested or in contact with the body in the process of painting. With this dialectical relation[6] (of causality and casualty between the pigment and the injuries it causes) in the course of realization of the work itself, Artigas opens a fertile area of inquiry: the division of labor into discreet parts and, ultimately, a kind of decentralization of the work of art in its form, the relation between the idea and its execution, the artist and those who mechanically follow his instructions to realize the work. As he executes the painting himself, Artigas changes the form of those relations and alters the emphasis between the object (the result) and the process (the idea), the relation between the whole and the parts both metaphorically and physically. The physical existence of the object is not prevalent and does not gain particular relevance by itself only but also in its sequential relations to the « wholeness » of the group, of the series. The series is, by definition, endlessly extendable and all Artigas’ paintings are variations centered within the limit of a pre-ordained system of reference: the pigment and, at the center of the canvas, the hazardous definition of the pigment. Each work represents one possible development, but one no more or less necessary than any other one. The permutational characteristics of each painting are nevertheless centric but only in its coexistence with the other parts of the series, within the whole. Even though each painting is conceptually cluttered and is not ordered hierarchically nor realized in a particular order, each one participates in organizing a greater fictional painting that subsumes all these elements. As if the « wholeness » (the group) was capable of nullifying the risk inherent to the process of painting by diluting the palette of pigments into an more abstract painting or making it more hazardous due to its repetitive and frequent use in time. The relation between idea and execution and division of labor in discrete parts produce in the work a kind of tautological system that leads to an aporia and epistemological questioning: would the work of art involve a different type of work in the literal effects it produces whether it is being realized by the artist or by others? Would the object be considered as art in this particular economy of the division of labor? The question of the « object » (the materialization of the idea, here, the painting and its physical characteristics) is important as it implicitly holds a conception, a priori, of its possibilities to depict objectively what it is and, ultimately, to crystallize his existence as a work of art.   These two modes of representation embedded in a formal vocabulary (visual and textual) create new relations in the superposition of the colour (the object) and the text (a specific definition of that colour), which in return, posit the questions of the autonomy of the object in regards to the text and its potential (non) representational quality in the context of the presentation of the work. Can we fold one over the other as if the definition of that colour and the colour itself were equivalent? How does Artigas relate language to painting and suggests an alternative system of recognition that imposes another hierarchy? We must plainly admit that it exists a (qualitative) asymmetry between the two. The two elements occupy distinct realms that only the condition of the presentation can cancel, still in a certain way. What is indicated in the painting is not a series of colours that can be subsumed into words (or vice versa?); only the context can reintroduce discursive information and offers a pertinent grid of understanding. Several elements of the composition direct and inform a special reading of the work. The perception of colour is both physiologically and culturally situated as it corresponds to a system of meanings expressed in symbolic forms or, to say it differently, we give a particular meaning to an object because we (culturally) inherited variable systems of reference, pre-conceptions and referents from which we interpret situations, read, see and construct reality. Colour is a class of symbolic forms (a « local knowledge »)[7] that socially frame and direct our perception to apprehend the meaning of what we see. Everything happening as if the painting is nothing else than itself, semantically autonomous from the language. The text appears sinless. A (the colour) is not equal to B (the text) because we do not systematically (and locally) assimilate A and B in a system of equivalence. The text (which is the definition of the object) contradicts what it is supposed to depict. The meaning is never given a priori but inferred by the context, the language that would supposedly define the position from which interpretations must be elaborated? Partially, partially only[8] because that system of recognition admits a hierarchy. The text and the object are imprisoned within a frame that defines lateral relations. A is not equal to B. The canvas draws a distinction between « ressemblance » and « similitude ». The meaning of the object is partially ruled by the text. Artigas analytical proposal suggests to objectively see the objects in all their aesthetic possibilities and reverse the symbolic hierarchy of text and object. To that extent, Artigas questions the « nature » of art through the concept of colour, object and process (painting). This approach has direct resemblances with René Magritte, Marcel Duchamp or Joseph Kosuth formal vocabulary. Ordinary objects are transfigured in the process of objectivization, that is, a process through which the objects are seen as they are although their primary meaning (what they are used for) is cancelled in a specific mode of representation. The object still exists but under different conditions. In « One and Three Chairs », (1965) Joseph Kosuth (re) presents an ordinary object, a physical chair, a photograph of that chair, and the text of a dictionary (bilingual, depending on the exhibition venue) of the definition of the word « chair ». What we see, is the repetition of a same object (a chair) without a formal repetition of this object, or, to put it differently, the « chair » exists in distinct degrees of its own reality. The representations of the chair sequentially refers to distinct « states » of the object, in the idea we have of a chair and simultaneously in the delineation of the concept of « chair » itself. The idea of a chair and its representations (physical and formal) are tautologically equivalent. Artigas suspends all these definitions to one. From all the series of intersections between the text on one hand and the object and the image on the other, he sets a different proposition, selects one definition which is unfamiliar: the toxicity of the colour and, by doing so, he creates new relations through which he specifies another characteristic of the object ignored as such in everyday life[9]. A reality ignored. Artigas perfidiously and repeatedly continues to use one literal element (the pigment, the colour) to conceptually clutter the spectator in one equivalence (certainly unknown beforehand or underestimated at most): pigments are toxic in the process of painting, that is in the realization of art as art. The grouping of what could be an extendable inquiry ad infinitum (the « wholeness ») and the repetition of the process (by the series) accentuate the « statement [10]»: Risk Painting. The text and the title dialectically decompose, explain and name the object. The text becomes a legend that reveals the meanings and the distinctive realm in which the object exists and should be considered. The « strangeness » is not in the contradiction of the image and the texts (the definition of the pigment and the title of the series) but in the preconceived idea the spectator might have on the relation between the two, and on the meaning of colour, its implications in the artist’s realm. The dissection of the painting between its literal and metaphorical properties proceed from a methodology which consecrates the « wholeness » and its discreet parts, the idea and a specific division of labor incorporated in a composition of the object. Artigas’ Risk Painting series is certainly self-referential in the double meaning of making reference to other works (his own), past and present and tautological (it gains its own autonomy in the performative effects the repetition produces to make a sense of « wholeness »). Just like Muybridge deeply influenced Sol LeWitt in the concern of seriality in his obsessive quest to carry the demonstration into the realm of « encyclopedic enormity [11]», Bernardino Ramazzini[12] is a similar influence on both Artigas methodology and critical assessment about his art and the nature of art itself from his perspective.   The serial project of the Risk Painting is an objective system of self-reflection that somehow has a schizoid rationale. It literally embodies the « idea of risk » Artigas has always honored as an objective pole in his œuvre although this experience is pushed to another level as his actions operate physically on him in the process that forces a bodily engagement to be effective. Artigas ultimately incarnates the « idea of risk » in the most simple and ostensible acceptation. His double personalities occupy one realm as if the literal properties of the painting executed had altered and changed the forms of the idea itself. Artigas materializes the idea in a very direct and visible way. He is the idea. This series somehow completes the « wholeness » of his œuvre. The Risk Painting is endlessly extendable and Artigas still plays us. The more paintings he executes, the higher his risk is to be exposed to health injuries. Would his paintings be altered, the perceptions of his work remain identical? And what if this series had intrinsically the capacity to modify our « cognitive style », our representational categories of deduction and analogies, our abstract and analytical conventions to understand art? Far from only probing the conditions of art, Artigas collaterally opens a fertile domain of investigations and speculations in art history: What if the use of a certain pigment (or the combination of multiple pigments) did not fall into decay because of a certain moral asceticism, a shortage in supply or a shift in an artist aesthetics? What if the physical attributes of the painting itself carried physical consequences, in the process, on the painting as art? Artigas analytic proposition is certainly unpredictable in its effects, as usual.   [1]Milgram (S.), Obedience to Authority. An experimental view, New York: Harper & Row, 1974. Stanley Milgram series of experiments were conceived to discover the direct and immediate impact of the command of an authority figure to another person to behave in ways that conflicted with their personal conscience. The experiment was performed between 1960 and 1963 in the Department of Psychology at Yale University and consisted of a « teacher » and a « learner » configuration. At each incorrect answer, the teacher is to give the learner an electric shock. He’s to start at the lowest shock level (15 volts) and to increase the level each time the « learner » makes a mistake. The « learner » is an actor (which the « teacher » does not know) who receives no shock at all. The point of the experiment is to see how far the teacher will proceed to administrate the shock inflicting pain on a protesting victim. [2]Asch (S.E), Effects of group pressure upon the modification and distortion of judgment in Gvetzkow (H.) (ed.), Groups, Leadership and Man, Pittsburgh P.A: Carnegie Press, 1951. [3]On the concept of « face », Goffman (E.), Interaction Ritual: Essays on Face-to-Face Behaviors, Pantheon Books, New York, 1982 [4] The Mechanism of Human Physiognomy or the Electro-Physiological Analysis of the Expressions of Passions, Applicable to the Practice of the Plastic Arts (in French: Mécanisme de la physiognomie humaine ou Analyse électro-physiologique de l’expression des passions applicable à la pratique des arts palstiques, 1862) by Guillaume Benjamin Armand Duchenne de Boulogne is the first publication on human emotions to be illustrated with actual photographs. Duchenne believed that the features of human face could be codified into a universal taxonomy that could render the « soul emotions » or inner states. [5] The perspective we adopt to consider the notion of « series » in this essay can be largely related to Leibniz theory of monads to the extent that the ontological essence of the monad is its irreductible simplicity and individuality. Nevertheless, in this case, we should only consider these two principles from Leibniz theory to be totally accurate about the concept of monads. Leibniz (G.W), Discourse on Metaphysics; and the Monadology, translated by G.R Montgomery, Buffalo, NY: Prometheus book, 1992. [6]Similarly, this dialectical relation operates symbolically in another relation and on other grounds when the viewersees the painting before understanding it. He sees the color, moves towards the painting (because he saw the text), understands the potential risk and pulls back (from fear). Everything happening as if in the versatile game of subordination of the sign (the text) to the form (the painting) was coincidently superimposed by a very different space than the one of the painting. The relation of distance to the work as a work of art itself as if the toxicity of the painting could carry both physically and symbolically the same performative effects than the ones associated with its objective (authoritative) status as a work of art. Artigas also reveals and materializes subtly this chiasm, here, by the means of the use of toxic pigments. [7]On the codification of social action and individual behaviours through shared cultural symbolic forms, cf Geertz (C.), Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretative Anthropology, Basic Books, 3rd edition, 1985. In the same vein, Berger (P.), Luckmann (T.), The Social Construction of the Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge, Anchor, 1967 or Blaise Pascal aphorism, what is truth on one side of the Pyrénées is error on the other side. [8] In his seminal book, Le Vocabulaire des Institutions Indo-Européennes (Indo-European Language and Societies transl.) Emile Benveniste explores the status of names within the history of Indo-European linguistic forms and defines Indo-European language as a family of languages originally from a common language but which differentiated themselves by gradual separation. In this linguistic paradigm, Indo-European languages have a similar system of recognition, similar but not equivalent. The words and their meanings (just like the colour and their meanings) are defined by comparing and contrasting their meanings to one another that is relationally in a formal system of differentiation in which « signifier » and « signified » have different « sound images ». On this aspect of semiotics and the concept of « sound images », cf Saussure (F.), Cours de Linguistique Générale, Payot, 1949 (Course in General Linguistics, transl.)and of course, Benveniste (E.), Le Vocabulaire des Institutions Indo-Européennes (Indo-European Language and Societies transl.), 1 and 2, 1969, ed. de Minuit. [9]On the notion of « transubstantiations », see Foucault (M.), Ceci n’est pas une pipe: Sur Magritte, 1973, Fata Morgana (This is Not a Pipe, transl.) [10]For Foucault, a statement (or « énoncé » in its original terminology) is a basic unit of discourse that makes utterances and gives a meaningful sense to things. Foucault (M.), L’Archéologie du savoir, Paris, Gallimard, 1969 (The Archeology Of Knowledge, transl.) [11] Hollis Frampton, ‘Edward Muybridge: Fragments of a Tesseract » , Artforum, March 1973, p. 53 quoted in Krauss (R.), The Lewitt Matrix, Sol LeWitt – Structures 1962-1993, The Museum Of Modern Art, Oxford, 1993 [12] Bernardo Ramazzini was an Italian physician of the XVIII century. In his seminal book, De Morbis Artificum Diatriba (The Diseases of Laborers), Ramazzini documented the health hazards and risk injury attributable to a list of chemical, dusts and metals in the workplace of 52 professions. Most notably he performed clinical examinations of the workers in the mostunthinkable studios thus exposing himself to the chemical contaminations. Ramazzini (B.), Las Enfermedades de Los Trabajadores/The Diseases of the Laborers: De Morbis Artificum Diatriba (Spanish edition.), Porrua, reprinted 2008.