Laissez faire et laissez passer

Laissez faire et laissez passer, le monde va de lui même. (Vincent de Gourney)

The February 2011 issue of ArtForum carries an advertisement for an exhibition — at Los Angeles gallery Blum & Poe — of new works by Los Angeles based artist Sam Durant titled « Laissez faire et laissez passer, le monde va de lui même. » 

An Event Page on Facebook explains that “… this quotation, which translates to “Let do and let pass, the world goes on by itself,” is from Vincent de Gourney, a French commerce secretary who popularized the slogan in the mid-eighteenth century. The shortened version, “laissez faire,” has since become widely used to signify free market or neoliberal economic policy.”

Reflecting on the larger meaning and implications of “mapping”, Durant asks something that, these days, constitutes one of the big questions: “Who makes the map and who gets mapped?”

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them — that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally in whatever way they like. (Lao-Tse)

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