De Quincey’s Artificial Paradises (2016) is a Project which matrix is based on Thomas de Quincey’s essay, Confessions of an English Opium Eater, published in the London Magazine review in 1821. The title mentions the concept of Artificial Paradise, understood as the mental and emotional state coming from the consumption of narcotics. It also pays tribute to Baudelaire’s Artificial Paradises (1860), inspired itself by the British author’s work. Thus, this “drugged” literature as well as the foundations of the Romantic thinking of the 19th century are the heart of these six works that form the series. They come from a dual will: to rediscover De Quincey, overshadowed by literary figures very close to him, like Wordsworth and Colebridge; and to bring to the light the essayistic gender, residual compared to the outbreak of English novels during the 19th century, from a new field of exploration: collage. The Confessions are becoming the motor to a proliferating succession of literary and scientific texts which, ever since, have been exploring the artistic and psychological effects of the use of drugs on the human mind. Therefore, from the appropriation, reinterpretation and creation of value of its nature, you will find in this project a space for recognition in which the words become images and the prose a complex visual cosmos.
The pieces seek to recover and bring to the light, from an eminently symbolic dimension, such moments of pleasure and torment experienced by the opium eater, becoming stages that each contains an Artificial Paradise. Every Paradise was thoroughly studied, conceptualized and designed with a combination of materials which intends to evocate the features that define the narrative style and the philosophy of De Quincey as well as the particularities of the landscapes and events found throughout his essay.
COLLECTION: De Quincey’s Artificial Paradises