“I believe in the power of the imagination to remake the world, to release the truth within us, to hold back the night, to transcend death, to charm motorways, to ingratiate ourselves with birds, to enlist the confidences of madmen.” — J.G. Ballard, What I Believe, 1984
“Over our lives preside the great twin leitmotifs of the 20th century – sex and paranoia. In a sense, pornography is the most political form of fiction, dealing with how we use and exploit each other, in the most urgent and ruthless way.” —
J.G. Ballard, Crash
“Each of her deformities became a potent metaphor for the excitements of a new violence. Her body, with its angular contours, its unexpected junctions of mucus membrane and hairline, detrusor muscle and erectile tissue, was a ripening anthology of perverse possibilities.” —
J.G. Ballard, Crash
J.G. Ballard, Self-Portrait Double Exposure, 1950. Via. Taken while Ballard was a student at Cambridge University.
A uniform is an attempt to reconcile form and content, to match what you think you look like with what you’d like to look like, what you think you are with what you want to suggest. You find this match without really looking for it.
Various covers of J.G. Ballard’s Crash, originally published 1973.
“Normally, traditional sexual activity involves a sort of warm bath where physical activity and a world of mental affections blur into each other, and give rise of course to a huge number of problems. (…) He sees pornography, which is emotionally neutral — pornography is sex with the emotions deleted — pornography is a useful technique for exploring what exactly is going on when two people copulate, when a penis enters a vagina, when a hand embraces a breast, when fingers explore clefts (which are obviously geometric structures which powerfully cue innate responses laid down in the central nervous system a hundred thousand years ago). Pornography is a way of dismantling all the excrescences that have grown around this sexual activity at its most basic, and finding the actual sort of operating elements.”
-J.G. Ballard, interviewed by Jonathan Weiss in 2006,
commentary track on The Atrocity Exhibition