Madelon Vriesendorp

Flagrant délit, 1975

Flagrant délit, drawn in 1975 by Madelon Vriesendorp, with another version made in 1978 used for the cover of the “retroactive manifesto” Delirious New York, borrows its dreamlike imagination not only from the Surrealist legacy, but also from Pop Art, which consummates the loss of the original object. In this nighttime scene, two skyscrapers are surprised in a bed. The work is a reminiscence of architecture, which proceeds by conglomerates of local and disjunctive memories, echoing the blocks which, joined together, form the urban archipelago. The illustrative quality of Flagrant délit subscribes to the Freudian mechanisms of the dream which operate through displacement and condensation. Flagrant délit is above all the transcription of the “Manhattanism” and the “culture of congestion” described by Rem Koolhaas, where fantastic narratives exist side by side with fragments of reality, where the body is a mutant and symbiotic body, where the city yields up its mechanistic unconscious, and where skyscrapers are so many “desiring machines”.

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