Pandemonium Manifestos – Georg Baselitz



The poets lay in the kitchen sink, 
body in morass.
The whole nation’s spittle floated on their soup.
They grew between mucous membranes
into the root areas of humanity.
Their wings did not carry them heavenward –
they dipped their quills in blood,
not a drop wasted writing –
but the wind bore their songs,
and those have shaken faith . . .

The poets are still throwing up their hands. Point to changes? Bitterness, impotence and negation are not expressed in gesture. Till it hurts! With a final, finite truth pouring out. No truck with those who can’t wrap art up in a smell. I have no kind word to say to the amiable. They have proceeded by art-historical accretion, they have ruled neat lines under things, they have practised mystification with all the passion of a collector. The survivors’ beds are not unmade – remnants of the last housework stuffed under the bed – the gelatinous threads have not become visible, the unfruitful troubles derided. The rest of history is instances. We have blasphemy on our side! They have escaped their sickbeds. Their simplifying methods have swept them on to the crests of the waves. The ice beneath the foggy maze is broken. They are all frozen stiff – those who believe in fertility, those who believe in it – those who deny their pens and those who revere them. Fiery furrows in the ice, flowerlike crystals, crisscross icicles, starry sky torn open. Frozen nudes with encrusted skin – spilt trail of blood. The amiable are washed up, deposited as sediment. Faces that the moon pulls, in perspective, in the rivers, faces into which waste water drips. The toad that licks up the singers’ spittle. Glowing crystal mountain. Homer, the water of thine eye, in the mountain lake. Caught in the curlicues of the manuals which invented the method.

Pacifying meditation, starting with the contemplation of the little toe. On the horizon, in the depths of the fog, you can always see faces. Under the blanket a being stirs, and behind the curtain someone laughs. In my eyes can be seen the altar of Nature, the sacrifice of flesh, bits of food in the drain, evaporation from the bedclothes, bleeding from stumps and aerial roots, oriental light on the pearly teeth of lovely women, gristle, negative shapes, spots of shadow, drops of wax, parades of epileptics, orchestrations of the flatulent, warty, mushy, and jellyfishy beings, bodily members, braided erectile tissue, mouldy dough, gristly growths in a desert landscape.

Withered, timorous conifers and flailing deciduous trees in the memory. Anthropomorphic pot-bellied putty rocks (without Arcimboldi). M. Vrubel in the cold sacristy of a Byzantine stone church – in the memory form.

Redon in the fleece of a one-eyed sheep, in the garden where the soft-leaved plants have faces – in the memory form. I am warped, bloated and sodden with memories. The destinies that make no one look up: I have them all on record. By night, troubles soon come to mind, like starlings in late summer – a negative film. The influence of the stars is undeniable, the purity of the night sky is awesome, only the source is poisoned. The many killings, which I daily experience in my own person, and the disgrace of having to defend my excessive births, lead to a malady of age and experience. Ramparts are built, byways pursued, sweets on offer, and more and more slides, sleepier and sleepier.

They have harassed me. The alien rhythm betrays them into the craziest dances. I deplore their rhythmic function. They are special editions of passion. Their art is a breathing exercise – ecstatic, contemplative, misty, inward, mathematical. Art as a meditative action, as the manifestation of an in-group.

In me there are pre-pubertal enclaves (the smell when I was born); in me there is the greening of youth, love in decoration, the tower-building idea. The greening of youth and the coming autumn leaves are valid, even if I fall into paranoid decline in winter. In me the brewers of poison, the annihilators, the degenerates, have attained a place of honour.

The seat of all unfruitful religion. Piles of squatting background monks, spread out in tiers, rigidly staring. In me there is a dead-end slide, the longing for Grecian columns, the addiction to excess, the Mannerists’ addiction to excess, a tangle of tendrils and artifices, coldness and devotion – it is always enforced love. Because revulsion often overcame me without warning. I took – and still take – delight in sullying my own moments of innocent openness. Flatchested and lacerated, I assail the hollow spaces. It has turned into impressiveness. Another procedure that shame demands. Shame is not Situationism, it is the slide into the abyss, it is frightening, it is mob delusion, it is a relapse into the pubertal ooze. Euphoria deepens abysses.

Case 13
Often saw original mind in E.,
but character mixed.
December joy: I am thy death.


Negation is a gesture of genius , not a wellspring of responsibility. With solemn obsessiveness, autocratic elegance, with warm hands, pointed fingers, rhythmic love, radical gestures – we want to excavate ourselves, abandon ourselves irrevocably – as we have no questions, as we look at each other, as we are wordless, as we, noblest profanity – our lips kiss the canvas in constant embrace – as we pull sweat-rags through our veins and mendicantly, non-viol-ently, corrosively, painfully carry our colour ordeal over into life, as we naturally sully our cave tomb with exuberance – what our sacrifice is, we are. In happy desperation, with inflamed senses, undiligent love, gilded flesh: vulgar Nature, violence, reality, fruitless – parents forgotten – in answer to the vanished question, in our looks at you, lust and blood, our bodies prove that we love. Audacious twinness (deux, deux, deux) springs from love. Doubly pregnant cave. We have moved into a locked cave of Pandemoniac origin. Dark images (spendour in front, squalor behind) – mighty infatuation with senseless death. No outstanding debts. No. Twenty-four hypocritical years purged to the last dregs, to the creatorial uniform death in the front-line city. Left to my own devices, with no fear of the sudden break, I look into myself. Now I am here! Hygienic solace maintains the advantage gained by my isolation. First my restless eyes – mould gathered between ecstatic reactions of erectile tissue, then caress the gristle in the randy evening hours. Fantastic reality! Nameless life passes by Fantastic reality – the picture of my great parturition. On a foray into the crematorium, I found I had set out into my own bloody nose, navel oozing, on a painful migration into my eyes. Then I shut myself into a blazing light and departed. The last note I heard hung sweetly in the air. The smell chews ivy. In tulip gardens, gates of retirement set up to the saturnine schizophrenic G. As we do not lose our way amid hybrid dough fantasies. Our friends are still deceased. Glad mourning is the breath of our cave. The rampart of broken fingernails (plucked in euphoria), a witness of resistance, preserves us from non-satanic tortures. Blunt fingers with no nails, tombs of the one minute in the place of collective sadness, Finger joints fill A.A.’s mouth. We are still the only friends of our happy intercourse. The enticing, seductive WE. Fastidious contemporaries, democratic visitors – wealth of this city. It stinks. We live through endless ecstasy. My secret. Paranoia, on to paranoia, in the outspread fingers, the knuckles that leave the gentle rhythm of paranoia on the wall. We love cigarettes with mourning-bands. We are capable of distinguishing, we are not blind, but we are deaf. We foment rebellion among epileptics. The sexual knots of pain enclosed in larval disguise. Physical weakness in the moment of climax. No intolerable signs of degeneracy. Honest depravity with a blasphemous stamp. The greatest Mannerist de-monstrance. Essential feigned isolation. This penetrable crust which contains Artaud (bursting sign). Colourful linens of esoteric light outdazzle the entry of pale youth. Social desolation lashed with dirty tricks – the age’s style. Secretions of the flesh, sexual fantasy, embrace with kisses, direct love (two, two) – I see them! – timeless threads preserved among women. That is the Creatorium. A Pandemoniac redoubt which makes further hope impossible. Demoniac vulgarity is constantly visible beauty. This is the essential malice. Demoniac vulgarity is constantly visible beauty. The men’s god-substitute, praised in chorus of unanimous reserve. Herein have I chosen. The smell conceals a plainness. Nothing reflects, nothing evaporates, I always find myself thrown back, whereby historical instances no longer serve. I always find dwindling lust. The choice is indecisive, unemotive, lasting splendour, nevertheless, pathogenic. The torments of the jellyfish, who ever feels them? Secret malady . . . uniform death – soothing, fetishistic agonies of conscience. The year of sweet apprehension once lived through, here surviving is now the most painful ordeal of all. I am in Pandemonium undergoing hygienic solace. My handsome, overdue body is in this (A.A.’s) especially colourful shadow. Passionate feelings of the crowd, corroborating cliches, visiting religious soul-brothels, with rhythm and click of backgammon, smiling inanely at the one thing that is painful. What is victorious about this? – Do you want to see me cry? Pandemoniac shots in the back along the roadbed – umbilical rails. Recognized a family that coughs among the hinds’ udders in Saxony without need of inner help. More of these little nest explosions – such a lot of skin scrubbed away already. Glass eyes cool them off, Never note down an observation. A. Gallen! Standing barefoot on suppurating stumps of felled trees, shouting into madness. I have only now been offered the annual rings. Far and wide I shake drops of water from my feet. Poor A. Gallen. Death has long been abandoned as a school disease. I. Ducasse is fateful, without willingness to love. An epidemic of pederasts shitting blood – doubly fruitful in a religious sense, if none of you helps out the wings of words. In this I myself stand resurrected. All downright poetry. Cleared away. Here I lie in tulips – G.’s epitaph. I’m the vanguard of my journey. No picture without silk stockings as a guiding thread, no picture without this useless crowd of ecstatic faces in boxes. Extract from five-year professional training. As they can’t say anything to me. I warned you. In spite of that, these passionate bonds – you all do know. No more materialstations. Of which there still remains – uniquely – one real possibility which has come my way. To let the unnamable bleed the crystallization of a miscarriage, to let exuded ice-ups ice up, is to transcend all automation – autism is a flower stalk.

Only one life – living withdrawn, in attacks against life. Mourn the loss – no mourning for the lost. Flying clods steered into Pandemonium. Feverish apertures feverishly filled. No impossible leadership without a hidden malady. Constant renewal of the toxins. Euphoria deepens the abysses. All withdraw. The fancy enjoyments have won. For all the rebellion, for all the loving embrace (insanity) I see you all drift away. Times of never-halting devastation. Upswing through Pandemoniac roofing to the ultimate vision. Cold snaps enforce moments of salvation, such as: calling a word to mind, all those poets in boxes, oil painting, care of adhesives, fear of looking at excrement, horizontal formats, remains of housework under the bed, trips to Paris, repression of exhibitionism, building blocks . . . Pandemoniac upswing through the creatorial roofing to the ultimate vision, the Pandemoniac redoubt, which leaves no more room for hope. Ripped away all skin, the last simile, and cut oneself through to the quick. Ineluctable, unshakeable, upright stasis, where no end-products (precise pictures) are present. Past it goes, past it goes, through Circassia. Paranoid March, Ride of the Paranoids, Paranoids’ Leap, paranoiacide, December joy . . . and so I swim from your sight in sperm – away from the surprised eyes of my mother.

Irreconcilable with cognac and sober – fastidious democratic contemporaries. Asiandom of the Season. Now the membrane borrowed from the sacrosanct surface, vibrating canvas (lending sexual maturity a helping hand), lovingly violated. Ripped away, the last skin, the last simile. On, far on, on into the white quick. Look good in boxes, all the heads, the poets, confusion of profusion. Lightning without God into bare woods, body of mine born into clearest water. Fearsome darkness in the ice crystal of one and only truth. Up, floated twisting celestial updraught to the final mission.

I am of invisible extent. Systematic mortification of the regions without sensation (grading off) in a single lapse of time. The infinity that blows from my mouth. I am on the moon as others are on the balcony. Life will go on.

All writing is crap.


Berlin,  1961-1962

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