May 15, 2009

Le Plancher de Jeannot (Art Brut)

"THIS" is called "Jeannot's wooden floor" (Le Plancher de Jeannot).
Prior to becoming a breathtaking piece of Art Brut, this floor belonged to a farm which was owned by Jeannot's parents. His father had committed suicide (reasons remain unclear). Jeannot lived in this isolated farm with sister and mother. The three of them lived as outcasts and never mingled with the neighbours or the town folks. At nights, he used to ride his tractor and drive around their property with a gun to prevent any hypothetical intrusion. He would never let anyone in and started becoming highly aggressive. In 1971, Jeannot was a young man then (33 years old) who suffered from delusions and an intense paranoia. He never saw a doctor but some testimonies (occasional visitors) all indicated serious signs of "madness". When their mother died, brother and sister first accommodated her by the fireside so that she would “keep warm”. Their mother was buried a few days later under the staircase and Jeannot went into extreme seclusion inside his bedroom. Jeannot started to write, literally carving the wooden floor with his knife. His bedroom floor was turned into an open book of incredible size (15 square meters) on which he recorded his hate, his fears, his panic. At the same time, Jeannot stopped feeding himself and progressively starved to death. Two decades after, in 1993, his sister Paule was found dead in the pigsty dressed with rags taken from potato bags: she had never left the house and for all these years had refused all kinds of assistance. What the furniture dealers found when they entered the house was a real pandemonium, an incredible amount of junk had invaded all the rooms but there, in a bedroom, their attention was struck by the notes written on the floor. The latter was sold and ended up in the hall of a pharmaceutical company which is involved in the treatment of schizophrenia. "Jeannot's wooden floor" was recently donated to the Hôpital Sainte-Anne where it is being exhibited. Jeannot's work is now recognised as a masterpiece of Art Brut. The full text is transcribed below.

Jeannot' text:

"La religion a inventé des machines à commander le cerveau des gens et bêtes et avec une invention à voir notre vue à partir de rétine de l’image de l’œil abuse de nous santé idées de famille matériel biens pendant sommeil nous font toutes crapulerie l’Eglise après avoir fait tuer les juifs à Hitler a voulu inventer un procès type et diable afin prendre le pouvoir du monde et imposer la paix aux guerres l’Eglise a fait les crimes et abusant de nous par électronique nous faisant croire des histoires et par ce truquage abuser de nos idées innocentes religion a pu nous faire accuser en truquant postes écoute écrit et inventer toutes choses qu’ils ont voulu et depuis 10 ans et abusant de nous par leur invention a commandé cerveau et à voir notre vue a partir image rétine de l’œil nous faire accuser de ce qu’il nous font à notre insu c’est la religion qui a fait tous les crimes et dégâts et crapulerie nous en a inventé un programme inconnu et par machine à commander cerveau et voir notre vue image rétine œil… nous faire accuser nous tous sommes innocent de tout crime tort à autrui nous Jean Paule sommes innocents nous n’avons ni tué ni détruit ni porte du tort à autrui c’est la religion qui a inventé un procès avec des machines électroniques à commander le cerveau sommeil pensées maladies bêtes travail toutes fonctions du cerveau nous fait accuser de crimes que nous n’avons pas commis la preuve les papes s’appellent Jean XXIII au lieu de XXIV pour moi et Paul VI pour Paule l’Eglise a voulu inventer un procès et couvrir les maquis des voisins avec machine à commander le cerveau du monde et à voir la vue image de l’œil fait tuer les juifs à Hitler ont inventé"

Jeannot's work is now visible at the Hôpital Ste Anne, 7 rue Cabanis, Paris 14

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