Let’s focus on the 14th edition of documenta which is still on display in Kassel until September 2017.
This is the work «Ardoises magiques, Magie» by Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers (1924 – 1976) shown at Neue Galerie. It consists of a publication with the title «Magie» and an old fashioned magna doodle or etch-a-sketch as the title puts it already with his initials. ⠀
Sigmund Freud already described the second part in his essay about the «Wunderblock» (German for etch-a-sketch or magna doodle): With the «Wunderblock» a pen leaves traces which can be easily erased over and over by lifting the upper paper from the ground plate. Although the writings or drawings made on it are always erased on the surface trough the covering paper. Nevertheless on the main board small, almost invisible marks remain. These marks Freud was interested in when he compared this special device to a human mind which is confronted with a bunch of information which stays primarily unnoticed or unconscious, but are important for the subliminal in that what follows. ⠀
When Broodthears puts this tool next to a journal with the title «Magie» – notably in German – he may refer to this essay of Sigmund Freud, which reveals that there is not so much pure magic in our subconscious as we might think. ⠀
Or the other way round, connected to «Art et Politique» also mentioned on the journal: That magic is not only at work in art, but also in politics – even more if it is denied and presented as pure logic and a form of cybernetic systems theory. And that politics leave its marks for longer that we might think, even if it turned out wrong and got erased on the surface. •