Lyotard met Jacques Monory in 1972, and the text on him
published at that time was the first that Lyotard dedicated to
contemporary art since Discourse, Figure. Lyotard's interest in the
plastic arts thus fits fully within the setting of his political
preoccupations. The artist-protagonist stages the recurring motifs
that fascinate Lyotard: the scene of the crime, the revolver, the
woman, the victim, glaciers, deserts, stars. The atmosphere of the
essays on Monory is "Californian." Monory's imaginary repertoire
goes well beyond the masters of modernity and is in line rather
with a "modern contemporary surrealism."
Both Lyotard and Monory live the dilemma of Americanization, the
America represented by cinema, fashion, novels, music. It is in
this atmosphere that Lyotard and Monory will finally evoke their
supreme experience of difference: desire and fear, exultation and a
profound malaise. The plastic universe of Monory and the aesthetic
meditations of Lyotard are in perfect symbiosis. Sarah Wilson's
epilogue thoroughly outlines both the history of a friendship and,
at the same time, the intellectual and artistic climate of the
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