Groupe Mobile

Groupe Mobile is a term Brancusi attributed to the configurations of sculptures and their bases which he continually re-arranged and photographed in his studio constituting an ongoing visual journal of his work.

Before I compose a piece I walk around it several times, accompanied by myself

—Satie, Ecrits, ed. Ornella Volta, Paris 1990 

Past masterpieces are fit for the past, they are no good to us. We have the right to say what has been said and even what has not been said in a way that belongs to us, responding in a direct and straightforward manner to present day feelings everybody can understand.

—Antonin Artaud, ’ The Theatre and it’s Double’, 1938

Klára Körmendi

—Satie: Enfantillages Pittoresques - Petit Prelude A La Journee. Modere

The lack of any feeling of progression that we find in his personal use of harmony is emphasized by his equally personal use of form. By his abstention from the usual forms of development and by his unusual employment of what might be called interrupted and overlapping recapitulations, which cause the piece to fold in on itself, as it were, he completely abolishes the element of rhetorical argument and even succeeds in abolishing as far as is possible our time sense. We do not feel that the emotional significance of a phrase is dependent on its being placed at the beginning or end of any particular section. On Satie’s chessboard a pawn is always a pawn; it does not become a queen through having travelled to the other side of the board.

Satie’s habit of writing his pieces in groups of three[128] was not just a mannerism. It took the place in his art of dramatic development, and was part of his peculiarly sculpturesque views of music. When we pass from the first to the second Gymnopédie or from the second to the third Gnossienne we do not feel that we are passing from one object to another. It is as though we were to move slowly round a piece of sculpture, and examine it from a point of view which, while presenting a different and possibly less interesting silhouette to our eyes, is of equal importance to our appreciation of the work as a plastic whole. It does not matter which way you walk round a statue and it does not matter in which order you play the three Gymnopédies.

from ’ Music Ho! A Study of Music in Decline’, Constant Lambert, 1934


1. Direct treatment of the ‘thing’, whether subjective or objective.
2. To use absolutely no word that does not contribute to the presentation.
3. As regarding rhythm: to compose in the sequence of the musical phrase, not in the sequence of a metronome.

—Ezra Pound’s principles for imagist poetry, from ‘Ezra Pound Early Writings Poems and Prose’

When we concentrate on a material object, whatever its situation, the very act of attention may lead to our involuntarily sinking into the history of that object. Novices must learn to skim over matter if they want to stay at the exact level of the moment. Transparent things, through which the past shines!

—Vladimir Nabokov, ‘Transparent Things’, 1972

It seems in Latin ‘photograph’ would be said ‘imago lucis opera expressa’; which is to say: image revealed, ‘extracted’, ‘mounted’, ‘expressed’ (like the juice of a lemon) by the action of light. And if photography belonged to a world with some residual sensitivity to myth, we should exult over the richness of the symbol:the loved body is immortalized by the mediation of a precious metal, silver (monument and luxury); to which we might add the notion that this metal. like all of the metals of Alchemy is alive.

—Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida, p. 81

Being essentially a subject that cannot be treated ‘realistically’, the tree offers a marvellous pretext for the fabrication of a rhythmic structure of shallow recessions and advances that have little or nothing to do with the void and solid of the original motif

—Bridget Riley, introduction to ‘Mondrian; Nature to Abstraction’