Fabrizio Impellizzeri

The ‘Trans-Apparence’ of Erotic Phantasm in Pierre Klossowski

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Through Roberta’s cycle, composed of the trilogy of The Laws of Hospitality (1995) and most of his paintings, Pierre Klossowski repeatedly depicts his erotic phantasmagoria that inhabit his monomaniac mind and mark his marital life. His «mental comedies» have as their main protagonist his wife Denise, who later became Roberta in the works, who lends herself to her husband’s perverse play and thus becomes an erotic model to exhibit. Roberta, through the solecism of her gestures, her mutism and the appearance of her reanimated ghosts in a state of trance – which we will define here as a phenomenon of trans-appearance (a dual term that explains the trans-appearance and transparency of phantasmagoria) – informs on her true dual nature, in fiction and especially in painting, ready to incarnate itself before the complicit gaze of her reader-spectators-voyeur. The trans-apparence of Roberta’s erotic fantasy will therefore be manifested in the work in the duality of its function: on the one hand, it will be the spokesperson of the manifestation of erotic ghosts in the novel and, on the other, it will guarantee their representation diaphanous and impalpable, and therefore transparent, in the drawing.


  • Pierre Klossowski
  • erotic phantasm
  • diaphaneity
  • pathophany
  • intersemiotic representation


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