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The first exercises are done on translation.  Translation in its most simple and immediate nature, founded on the base given by the flat surface of the canvas as it is placed before the painter's eyes.  Immobile canvas, space that is empty and limited, but which is about to waken into existence as a result of the act of looking when, without in any way changing the overall form, it changes the proportions.  Then immobility will become equilibrium and the space will be peopled.

Peter Brooke: Variation on a painting by André Lhote, 2014
Oil on canvas, 30x80cm

Let me explain.  The eye (sight), we have said, is an organ that enjoys two prerogatives; it can concentrate the attention on one particular place and thus, for that moment, can be considered to be practically immobile.  But it can also shift its position by turning on itself, following a line, and thus it becomes mobile.  The Humanist eye is an eye whose most noble prerogative has been suppressed - that must be repeated ceaselessly - in order to confine it, enclosed in what belongs to the lowest level of its nature, and to reduce it to its most banal mode of functioning - reacting passively to the stimulation it receives from whatever surrounds it.  The dogma of perspective unity subjects it wholly to the illusory and to the subjective: to see becomes a matter of looking at something - observing - and the object becomes inaccessible and incomprehensible to the subject.  The subject (the spectator) has no role to play with regard to it, because he is no longer engaged in making it.  It is nothing more than an appearance of the external appearance of the reality of its objective being .  Quite other is the eye of that being who is engaged in the creation of himself, who acts for the sake of his whole reality.  And already, in translation, we can appreciate - in spite of its relative immobility - the fundamental difference that there is between the eye that acts as the source of this translation, and the eye that is exclusively under the domination of the perspective mechanism.  

As far as the painter is concerned, the translation is practised on the basis of the verticality of the picture plane, whose nature it leaves intact.  I specify 'the painter', since this is a property of the eye which will continue to operate in whatever way it is applied.  In the case of a potter, for example, it is practised in a way that is analogous but different, since the mass of clay is a volume.  For a weaver, the plane is horizontal.  For a sculptor, the inert support will be wood, or stone, and, thus, a volume. (10)  Whatever might be its variants, translation is of the nature of sight, and not of the material support that carries it.  Its distinguishing characteristic is to be found in the ability to assign a position to the various magnitudes which it imposes on this material support through its own contraction or expansion.  Which means, in other words, that all translation stands opposed to action.  It only maintains 'place', which is to say, it locates the body, extension, in stasis, in the spatial, in an immediate equilibrium.  The painter, advancing towards or stepping back from his flat canvas which is the material body, changes the size of the canvas optically, without changing its plane form.  He can inscribe on this canvas all the contractions or expansions he sees fit to give it.  The parallelism of its sides will be respected, the right angles will stay right angles, the proportions will be maintained.  With regard to their quality, these different magnitudes, corresponding to the nature of the plane, will, when they are combined together, remain as they were.  Moreover, they will remain confined in their original shape, an outline that does no more than to specify the place which they occupy.

(10) Moreover, these specifications - line, plane, volume - only really correspond to certain needs of a practical kind. Despite the intellectual abstractions we may make with regard to them, none of them, any more than any of the others, is really deprived of all three dimensions. It is only a matter of intensity. A linear extension possesses a width and a thickness that are very small. Similarly, a plane extension also has a very small thickness. In the volume, the three dimensions are simply more strongly marked. Of course, intellectually, we can abstract from them one or two dimensions and thus, arbitrarily, study them and make use of them for the sake of constructions that have nothing to do with the reality of things. But it is completely lacking in interest because there is nothing to which it corresponds. It is pure subjectivism. And I say nothing about the point, which becomes transcendental, since all three dimensions are refused to it.

Albert Gleizes: Space - 'analysis of traditional mural painting', 1938

The eye in translation differs from the perspective eye in that it is able to enjoy the reality of its state of rest, instead of having to undergo the perception of phenomena which are alien to it, phenomena which, reproduced on the canvas plane, suppress its plastic reality.  The translation of the eye, reverberating throughout the whole of the plane surface that acts as its support, will be experienced as symmetry.  It will be given its axis by the axis of the canvas, and the equilibrium will be maintained by parts that resemble each other, suitably disposed about the whole area of the object.  Whence all the possibilities the painter has of using translation by itself, alone, to give an infinite variety to the real appearance of the whole - a reality which, I repeat, is still static, and limited.  He can do this because the multiplicity of variations rendered possible through the interplay of particular defined areas is recovered in the unity of place which is given by the whole coherence of the organism.  But the plurality of these spatial extensions will never change into movement, which cannot of its own nature take place into account, and which, indeed, is incompatible with the very notion of place, as we shall see further on.