"A dictionary begins when it no longer gives the meaning of words, but their tasks. Thus formless is not only an adjective having a given meaning, but a term that serves to bring things down in the world, generally requiring that each thing have its form. What it designates has no rights in any sense and gets itself squashed everywhere, like a spider or an earthworm. In fact, for academic men to be happy, the universe would have to take shape. All of philosophy has no other goal: it is a matter of giving a frock coat to what is, a mathematical frock coat. On the other hand, affirming that the universe resembles nothing and is only formless amounts to saying that the universe is something like a spider or spit."
Georges Bataille, Formless, Documents 1, Paris, 1929, p. 382 (translated by Allan Stoekl with Carl R. Lovitt and Donald M. Leslie Jr., Georges Bataille. Vision of Excess. Selected Writings, 1927-1939, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press “Formless”, p. 31.
"Georges Bataille accused ‘mainstream’ Surrealism (André Breton et al.) of placing ‘the work before the being’ (like too much makeup on the face). In 1929 Bataille founded Documents, a short-lived alternative archeo-surrealist magazine, proclaiming it as a ‘war machine against received ideas.’ Milledge supposedly misheard this phrase, but reiterates her aural gaffe and thus attributes a power to a war-m-sheen – a thin coating becomes a weapon. Kafka wrote that a ‘book should be an axe to break the frozen sea within us.’ He would be pleased to know that a warm sheen can also do the job."
"Note to the reader: The purpose of an annotated bibliography is to evaluate the relevance and quality of various texts as they pertain to a topic or research question. It should provide an overview of what has already been said and is usually written at the beginning of a project. Here, animated by the work of Clare Milledge, the bibliography disobeyed me and became the project. Compiled from conversations with the artist or acting on a hunch, I have had no choice but to accept what follows as stubbornly incomplete, speculative, wayward and contradictory – that is, to accept these annotations as alive. Which is another way of wondering about the curious chattering between text and image, the work of writing and the work of art. I have organised them alphabetically, but they can be read in any order."