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French pedagogue, filmmaker and writer Fernand Deligny (1913-1996) developed his last longstanding project known as La Tentative de Cévennes between 1967 and 1996, until his dead. During that period he engaged in a series of disperse actions and aesthetic devices, using drawings, writings, films, interviews and wanderings to think about the condition of autist children, which later led him to develop a critical philosophical theory about human beings as such, language and society. My presentation will engage particularly around one of his books published in the most active period of the Attempt: Les détours de l'agir ou le moindre geste, 1979.The Attempt of Cévennes needs to be seen as a complex network conformed by the daily based activity taking place in the environment where it was placed, through the different artistic gestures Deligny forged with his collaborators, by the actual gestures of the children and collaborators, and the “wild image”, as Deligny named it, that was being imprinted by the dispossessed existence of the attempt itself. The gestures of the autist children, a gesturing without playing any role, and the tracing gestures of those “close presences” around them, a trace produced throughout different aesthetic apparels as drawings of maps and trajectories, films and writings, compose, I claim, a philosophy of gesture that enables a new paradigm towards the praxis of arts. In fact, one of Deligny’s mottos will be “l’art c’est pour rien” (art is for nothing), claiming the necessity of deactivate any diagnostic role of the practice of art and proposing an understanding of its appearing beyond the frames of normative languages.

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Luis R. Guerra 2407
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