I. Summer (after the Great Game)

Absalon, Nina Canell, Jean Dupuy, Jean-Luc Moulène, Juan Antonio Olivares, and Ernest Trova

curated by Andrea Neustein
July 12 — August 12, 2017
88 Eldridge Street



The mind adopts the habit of saying, “This is not important” to everything the body does or experiences.

René Daumal, “Freedom Without Hope”; Le Grand Jeu

…all defined existence is a scandal…the individual who has known himself within the whole can well believe for a moment that he will scatter into a dust so homogenous that it will spread like a dust filling an absence of dust in no place, at no time: he explodes, that lucky Earthling, but his all too solid skin, that elastic sack holds him together and puckers only at the most flexible parts of his face, makes the corners of his mouth rise and his eyelids tighten, and distended as far as it can be, it all suddenly contracts and snaps back on itself as the lungs fill up with air and then empty out; thus is born the rhythm of laughter, realized and sensed in oneself, observed just as clearly as in the eyes of another laughter. Each time he thinks he is going to burst once and for all, the laughter is held back by his skin, I mean his form, by the bounds of his own particular law whose form is outer expression, by the absurd formula, the irrational equation of his existence which he has not yet solved. He constantly bounces back off that absolute star that pulls at him, never standing still, and heating up from all the repeated impacts, he turns maroon, then cherry-red, then white, and shoots off boiling corpuscles and bursts again even more violently, and his laughter becomes the mad rage of wild planets…

René Daumal, “Pataphysics and the Revelation of Laughter”²


Miguel Abreu Gallery is pleased to announce the opening on Wednesday, July 12th, of I. Summer (after the Great Game). The show will be held at our 88 Eldridge Street location.

I took as my starting point the writings, drawings, poems, and thought experiments published by René Daumal, Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, Roger Vailland, Robert Meyrat, and their peers in Le Grand Jeu revue, three issues of which were published between 1927 and 1932. I started with their first summer issue, and went ahead from there. The group approached problems through the lense of pataphysics — the science of imaginary solutions – and imagined or insisted upon a world in which everything, including our own existence and form, is in constant shift. Coincidence, arbitrariness, necromancy, absurdity as an existential adhesive, stand alongside empirical science and linear thought. In Through The Looking Glass, Alice tries to walk away from a house towards a hill, to find that she has somehow walked back to the house; finally, on the advice of a talking rose bud, she walks in the opposite direction of the hill and finally reaches it.

A pamphlet including descriptions of the works in the exhibition will be available for free.


[1] Theory of the Great Game: Writings from Le Grand Jeu, edited and translated by Dennis Duncan (London: Atlas Press, 2015), pp. 19-25
[2] Pataphysical Essays, translated by Thomas Vosteen (Cambridge, MA: Wakefield Press, 2012), pp. 2-14