Coma, Manifesto is a sculpture made with corroded metal plates showing irregular traces of natural and more or less advanced oxidization, into which precise and concise inscriptions in English were cut out with a laser, taken from mounir fatmi’s Manifesto: “I did not have spring, I did not have summer, and here is winter already”, “My father has lost all his teeth, I can bite him now”, as well as “My tongue is a hemorrhage, I bleed each time I speak”. One end of the plates rests against the wall, the other is on the ground, with varying angles of inclination, creating a play of light and shadow and projecting the text on the walls of the exhibition space. At the foot of these massive scripture tablets, scraps resulting from the cutting out of the metal are strewn in piles. The title of the piece seems to be an oxymoron: it associates on one hand an upsurge, a vital force, the expression of a desire, the affirmation of a clear and conscious will, and on the other hand a state of suspended activity, of lethargy close to dreaming and its unconscious manifestations. With the sculpture Coma, Manifesto mounir fatmi highlights language and examines it in its corporeality, so to speak. He wonders how to safeguard one’s physical, intellectual and artistic integrity, as well as that of the creative and vital drive. Indeed, how can the death of artistic recognition be avoided? And in the end, what is left of the artist in his or her work once it’s achieved? Coma, a previous sculptural work, was about the gesture that saves. In the same way, Coma, Manifesto offers a medical and linguistic treatment as a response to danger. Establishing the artistic manifesto can be seen as a form of medication. The manifesto, in its written and published version, is divided into several parts called “Precautions”, “Dosage”, “Adverse Effects”, etc. As for the sculpture, it is there to realize the artist’s esthetic program by insisting on certain points. It reminds us that this program is primarily based on testimony and autobiography, in other words on the account by the artist of his personal and family history, told in the first person. It is also based on a play on “contrasts”: between light and shadow, full and hollow, expressed and unspoken, heaviness and levity, the ephemeral spoken word and its permanent inscription in matter. These contrasts dramatize the issue of preserving artistic integrity and help express the oppositions and dialectical processes that are at play in the resolution of contradictions existing on both a plastic and existential level. Artistic correspondences also constitute a fundamental aspect of the manifesto (in this case, between writing and so-called “plastic” arts): the vocation of artistic activity is to discover relations, establish connections. It tirelessly explores the relations between language and culture in order to create the required conditions that enable the emergence of critical and autonomous thinking. Finally, mounir fatmi’s esthetic program aims to associate a form of poetic sensitivity that has to do with intuition with “formal precision”, as illustrated here with the geometrical aspect of the piece and the use of maxims and aphorisms: concise and precise statements, strictly stylized, that become memorial anchors, thanks to their strong power of expression.