Noir Désir

Gagnants/Perdants by <em><u>Noir Désir</em>
Gagnants/Perdants by Noir Désir

Noir Désir became famous in 2001 with their song 'Le vent nous portera'. Yet the band was disrupted after singer Bertrand Cantat was jailed for the manslaughter of his girlfriend, actress Marie Trintignant after a violent row in a Lithuanian hotel in July 2003. He was sentenced to eight years imprisonment, but left jail last year after he had served half the sentence.

"Noir Désir died the same day as Marie", Cantat once said. Yet the band does not appear to be that dead, since they released on the Internet last Thursday, that everyone can download for free.

Le vent nous portera (Noir Désir)

For several months, I did not listen to 'Le vent nous portera' because I could not help thinking this voice belonged to a man who once beat his wife to death. I still have mixed feelings about it: the song exists anyway, and it is a great song.

Giorgio de Chirico — The Red Tower
Giorgio de Chirico
The Red Tower (1913)
The Barnes Foundation

When I was in Philadelphia lately, I visited , a fascinating place where hundreds (!) of chef-d'oeuvres are displayed. It owns a lot of Impressionist paintings especially. Also, many canvases by various painters who were not impressionists are exhibited, among which several pieces by .

I like many paintings by Chirico, in particular those he painted during his 'metaphysical' period. Yet the artist later joined the futurist movement 'Valori Plastici', then its 'Novecento' following, who both supported Mussolini's fascism. I sure dislike what were the ideas and behaviour of the individual. I still love many of his paintings anyway.

Another example: French writer , also a doctor in medicine. His first novel, 'Journey to the End of the Night' (Voyage au bout de la nuit) is among my favourite books ever. 'Death on the Instalment Plan' (Mort à crédit) is another great novel by him. His medical thesis about , who discovered the cause of puerperal fever and introduced hand washing in medicine, is at the same time a marvel of smartness and independence of mind, and splendid literature.

Yet Céline was a racist and anti-Semite, who shared many opinions with the Nazis. He wrote shameful pamphlets about the Jews before and during WWII. After the war, he was convicted a collaborator and imprisoned. I despise the man, I deeply admire several novels he wrote.

So... I still look at paintings by Chirico. I still read Céline. I still listen to music by Wagner. I may still listen to the songs by Bertrand Cantat also then. It does not mean I would shake the hand of the man, if it ever happened that I met him.

2 comment(s):

    On 18 November, 2008 10:22 Anonymous said...

    You n'er see through the paint to the creator behind, so you can only value the work as it is. Alice Neel, portrait artist, loved her children.. her children adored having her as a mother... but the person who created those masterful portraits,was troubled and perhaps could have been a more attentive mother. Thank Goodness for her work.

    On 29 November, 2008 00:21 Anonymous said...

    What if it turned out that Michelangelo actually had little boys for breakfast?
    It's revolting, but it is not connected to his work being art.
    It's actually a logical fallacy in line with rejecting all of one man's arguments because one of his arguments is weak. It's like rejecting Hitler's conception of the Autobahns because he was an evil dictator that led to the demise of millions. Autobahns ARE a good idea.
    Suppose you would think homosexuality was evil (which I think is in itself evil), would you have to think the Swan Lake was not a masterpiece?
    Chaikovsky was gay, after all.
    Thou art right, my friend! (Does this need mentioning at all?) Enjoying the art does not in any way mean endorsing the crimes, ideologies or ideas of the creator.


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