Translated by Chris Allen.
According to Alfred Jarry, “Pataphysics will examine the laws governing exceptions,” so we may suppose that it substitutes, for the average point of view, an exceptional one — but an individual point of view none the less, looking out upon whatever world he or she happens to be looking out upon. An agglomeration of exceptions would constitute a category or even a taxonomy, but for ’Pataphysics a category is no more than a challenge, something to be exploded, and a taxonomy represents a minimum crying out to be maximised, so that its lineaments (criteria) may encompass, for example, the equivalence of a lobster and a can of corned beef. The intentional category error is a field wide open to rigorous pataphysical exploration and in the domain of art it already has a long history. Marcel Duchamp, as usual, was first out of the traps, with the invention of the readymade… So yes, a painting can consist of a description of a painting, and Thieri Foulc’s impatience is understandable when he writes: “I paint with words as others do with pigments, and those who categorise me as a writer have not understood a thing.” This issue of the Journal consists of an exhibition of these paintings, whose gorgeous intricacy and virtuoso execution allows us to observe the science close up, so to speak, and operating within a particular defined field (the constraint being painting here) while simultaneously (or symbolically, to use Jarry’s word) reaching far outside of itself. A painting does not need to be painted in order to exist, just as ’Pataphysics “does not need to exist in order to be” (“Message of the Vice-Curator-Founder”, 14 Clinamen 84).
The London Institute of ’Pataphysics, Journal 13, As 144, 335 numbered copies.