Neoprimitive genesis

The “neo-premier” is an artistic expression stemming from the primitive impulse of the depths of the archaic brain, from which objectification has evolved according to phylogeny, the collective memory, mythology and the dreams of humanity.

It is an artistic movement created by Dayan, contemporary French sculptor of Polish origin, who postulates that, since the origin of humanity, in the human brain, the artistic impulse has remained identical while artistic cognition is evolving.

The first brain is the reptilian brain, which processes physiological regulations and primitive impulses. This brain is directed by instinct, impulse, and compulsion. The neocortex is aware of its impulses and can free itself through the imagination. This is the functional basis of imagination. Conscious of emotions, it interprets them with both verbal and non-verbal language, particularly through artistic creation. Part of the creative impulse stemming from the reptilian brain is obviously identical in man, from the Neanderthals to modern man, on each and every continent. The expression of this impulse has been socialized under different cultural models and artistic standardizations, and has been enriched by drawing on the universal heritage of collective memory.

Etymologically, the meaning of “neo-premier” should be understood in the sense of “Premier” meaning “in the original state, taking the original meaning” and “Neo” meaning “new.”

Artistically, the meaning of “neo-premier” is a natural echo of premier art, also referred to as primitive or tribal art. Clearly, as the neo-premier is an attempt to return to the sources of the creative impulse that initiated the very first artistic creations, one could be tempted to blend these two concepts (premier and neo-premier) together. Nonetheless, they are still far apart in terms of civilization, the premier art relevant to a society called “primitive”, and the “neo-premier” coming from a social and cultural evolution. Regarding, now, a possible comparison with a third concept—primitivism— it is inconceivable, for this movement would value the naïve nature of archaic art forms, while the neo-premier, if primitive by externalizing the individual, builds this through a sophisticated expression.

Beyond this aspect, the other perspective that we find in the vision of Dayan is that of the paradigm of the dream: life is a dream that one can live without conscience but also where one could awaken to live in complete lucidity. This awakening is the trigger for the act of creation— it releases inspiration and intuition, connecting the awakened dreamer with the universal spirit. For Dayan, this idea is transcribed in the mysterious philosophy of each of his works.

The immanence of the neo-premier is reflected through techniques of breaking with the brutality behind the primitive impulse. As to the form, transcendence of the material, deconstructed, sometimes distorted, symbolizes an intuition both barbaric and acculturated.