In 1913 the writer Raymond Roussel (1877-1933) published the novel Locus Solus. In it, the scientist and inventor Martial Canterel receives a number of friends in his sumptuous villa in Montmorency. As the group tours the estate, he invites his guests to contemplate all kinds of innovations and machines of his own creation. A mosaic of fantastic and phantasmagorical images and references come together in a work in which, paraphrasing Annie Le Brun,words and images are equally subjected to a process of reciprocal generation
The exhibition Locus Solus. Impressions of Raymond Roussel, co-organised by Museo Reina Sofía and Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, is about the legacy of Raymond Roussel, one of the lateral histories of modern art. Following his decisive influence on the early avant-garde movements, as shown by Leiris and Duchamp, his impact would reach 20th century artists who work with the processes of image, object and language metamorphosis.
In this conversation, the exhibition's curators discuss the keys to understanding the poetic universe of Raymond Roussel and his significance in artistic modernism.
João Fernandes. Curator of the exhibition and director of Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, in Oporto, Portugal.
François Piron. Curator of the exhibition, art critic and independent curator.