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Ça Ira: The Song of the French Revolution (1973)

Since Pop Art has already retrieved figurativeness that vanished during abstract art, why couldn't this otherwise absolutely realistic figurativeness be realised at the level of a Velazquez or a Goya, or a Rembrandt? - the artist states, from which we can understand his individual standpoint regarding pop art.

His mode of thinking about seriality was that of a visual artist; for him it was not simply a question of depicting recognisable and dramatic portraits of the stars of the Enlightenment: Robespierre, Saint-Just, Danton, or Marat, but he tried to match the styles of the era with individual faces. This concept was very close to Kovásznai's painterly style with its deliberate accumulation of stylistic quotations and witting eclecticism.

"The experience of the Revolution gave inspiration to such representatives of French art as Delacroix, Daumier, Manet, and Monet; but the atmosphere of the Revolution also lingered around the Paris School as a whole: the 19th-century revolution of painting, from Courbet to Utrillo, was preceded by the great social revolution. There evidently is a deep and far-reaching connection between the French Revolution and French painting. Thus, the song resounding in the French streets definitely lends itself to a series of visions, encompassed by a full-blooded colour scheme, into real physical movement. In terms of the corresponding genre and technique, it is the rebellion of the paint that conveys the information; for it is set in motion." The series does not attempt to follow the history of the French Revolution; instead, it brings into focus a few significant features to show them in succession: scenes of French cities and towns, the battles, portraits of the major figures of the Revolution, landscapes with French cathedrals. Independent compositions were shot one after the other to be animated during post-production, following the rhythm of the film's central tune. The resulting expressive film, with its dramatic atmosphere, is unparalleled in Kovásznai's oeuvre as well as in the history of animation and painting.

This postmodern sensibility renounces the modern art-historical metanarrative, along with its compulsive drive to control meaning in general, and by waiving the time and space coordinates of styles, it interprets them instead as coexisting and interacting modes of expression, all existing simultaneously (not consecutively).

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