Scenography: a contextual practice?
To act as a creator/scenographer in a Conakry neighborhood is to act without a point of view or perspective—to be aware that a point of view is a form of blindness. To create in such a context is, first and foremost, to be permeable. And permeability is incompatible with the filter of a point of view—a focused gaze, sure of its power and legitimacy and connected to our representations. How can one invent and create a narrative and make it part of an environment, without a point of view (but not without an aim)? The context affects us here, soliciting, absorbing, unsettling and blinding—or dazzling—us. “Vision grows distant and the dazzle makes us vulnerable.”1 This image reminds me of something one often sees in Conakry: the headlights of an oncoming car, whose dazzle diffracts our view of the car itself, or a motorbike-taxi winding its way through a hellish night-time tailback as if spiraling among apparitions, intrusions, energies, dangers and the very stuff of sound.
Vulnerable but precise, we advance. In half-light or darkness, blinded, we are finally able to act. The space, bodies, assemblages and excesses that make up the city with its powerful and often awe-inspiring energies—infinitely more creative and unusual than our own artistic inspiration—are constantly calling and suggesting… Here, to see is to touch, endlessly, and to touch is to act, to arrange, to be alert to our surroundings. It’s also to be intensely mindful, self-aware, attentive to (our) imaginary worlds. We’re constantly traversed, physically affected from head to toe. We dominate nothing: we can but try to join the flow of this collective creative power, introducing fictional or performative side-steps, spaces and possibilities, shiftings and breathings, gestures no matter how small, invisible, ephemeral, momentary... Theatrical or otherwise, these sidesteps, fictions and collective space-times are not nothing: they splinter the present and open onto other worlds. And because, beyond our artistic certainties and references, we’re caught up in this whirlwind of life, these spaces open up to us in the half-light or dazzle, among the bodies, in the proximity of the crowd, in the noise. Scarcely any silence, scarcely any calm, no light, too much light… We can’t hear, we can’t see, or hardly; insufficient physical distance, visual saturation, constant movement and flux, so many signs that they no longer signify; the improvisation of insecurity and uncertainty; vague, unframed spaces: none of the conditions allowing theater to emerge seem to be fulfilled. We become vulnerable; we can sense it. This loss of references is difficult for someone who’s constructed their practice with European codes and contexts. But it’s beyond the sense of insecurity that things become interesting. It’s like a hard shell that has to be pierced. An attentive presence brings insight into where and how we can act with the context. The history of thought—Black Studies in particular, as they’re essentially political and link the violence of the past to aesthetics—can help us deconstruct the unquestioned habits that stem from cultural hegemony, the certainties about what theater is and should be. Artaud walked this path before us and, according to John Cage, de-programmed the very possibility of theater: everything is theater, provided our sight and hearing are solicited in a collective experience2—an open and minimalist definition which has the huge advantage of breaking with convention and opening to the unexpected. Richard Schechner too, who has long downplayed the importance of Western theater in the global history of performative forms.3 Following their lead, we can invent the multiple conditions for theatrical forms that steer clear of convention and prescription, lucidly reconfiguring rather than rejecting them, choosing and creating rather than slavishly repeating.
Let us be clear: the idea is not to exclude rehearsal or renounce the silence conducive to listening and collective attention; nor is it to perform exclusively in the open air, as the box-theater can also be deconstructed from the inside. The idea is to liberate forms by turning our attention to something that often acts as a constraint in the field of theater—namely the “active ruination”4 of imperial and colonial history, the still-active forms of the past that continue to haunt our practices and lives. The idea is to explore the tools that allow for this reconfiguration of forms by extending the range of possibilities with elements such as half-light, dazzle, improvisation, chaos, the politics of the performative. The idea is to include the black worlds, the various “souths,” considering them in all their consistency and no longer invoking the exotic, “otherness,” etc.—mindsets that are still so cumbersome. The idea is to distance ourselves from the cultural hegemonies so deeply ingrained in European artistic practices. This is the direction in which I am turning my attention and my work; these are the means I am using to explore gestures, bodies, forms and contexts.
2. A theoretical account.
For a scenographer, it is only “natural” for a point of view5 to be an integral part of a stage design. It is indispensable to know the Euclidean geometric tradition as applied to the stage, and the principles of unifocal perspective as the obvious spatial relationship between the theater and the world that creates the character we call a “spectator.” The point of view of this watching-body, the visuality6 that frames figures at a distance, making them subjects in the geometrized world within which the representation occurs, is the basis of a watching-machine that considers itself universal, key avatars of which are the box-theater and the museum. The space is not site-specific (all box-theaters are alike). What is shown there can be shown according to the (enduring) rules of mimesis or more contemporary performative techniques. But whatever happens there (and God knows there have been multiple experiments), the box-theater decontextualizes what it contains. As it’s constructed on the idea that it’s necessary to break with the world to create a relationship with the spectator, any attempt to connect with a context encounters all manner of resistance. What happens on a stage can perhaps be reproduced on another stage, but this is difficult in reality, if only because the audience is different. Only the intermediary space between stage and city (the theater building) can be socially, culturally and politically rooted. The context is negated; the geometry of the theater is an imperial steamroller, colonizing the diversity of the world’s spaces.7
Becoming a scenographer inevitably involves a dialogue with the Western history of theater, whether one adheres to it, opposes it or both, such is the enduring influence of the box-theater as a reference space. For a scenographer, it corresponds to spatial and aesthetic practices and specific techniques: I draw/write the scenery (from the Greek skene and grapho) by arranging elements and signs in a black box (as on a white page), representing the space of the theatrical action by means of something that basically references a setting or tableau. In an assigned (i.e. imposed) co-presence, usually seated face forward in this machine for watching from a distance, an individual becomes a spectator and can see/think through identification with the representation. This conception of theater has long been challenged in many ways—“the moment of clear distinction between what is on stage and who is looking at the stage is perhaps just a strange little anomaly that reappears over the course of time,” according to Fred Moten8—but endures nonetheless, especially in Europe, and has spread worldwide with the arrogance of obviousness. There is a “natural” confidence in the ability of this theatrical design to express, reflect, denounce, criticize... We forget that it is central to the Western imperialist complex and relationship with the world, and that it therefore transmits powerful effects of domination—of its own contradictions, in fact. The gesture of representation, associated here with the theatrical gesture, continues to be marked by what Edward Said9 described as the “violence” of representation:
“The act of representing others almost always involves violence to the subject of representation; there is a real contrast between the violence of the act of representing something and the calm exterior of the representation itself, the image (verbal, visual or otherwise) of the subject. (…) There is always this paradoxical contrast between the surface, which seems to be in control, and the process that produces it, which inevitably involves some degree of violence, de-contextualization, miniaturization, etc. The action or process of representation implies control, it implies accumulation, it implies confinement (…). When you display something, you wrench it out of the context of living life and put it before an (in this case, European) audience. Because above all, representation involves consumption: representations are put to use in the domestic economy of an imperial society.”10
It so happens that when I “design” a stage in my role as scenographer, the operations mentioned by Said are literally part of my toolbox: removing, distancing, cutting out, suppressing, miniaturizing, removing… But such familiar manual/visual operations, which cut out and frame to construct the aesthetic and (supposedly) political coherence of a theatrical gesture, also imply an operation of censorship. The terms are always used in connection with their manual/visual dimension, ignoring their inherent violence, which is pervasive—I’m thinking of the way we appropriate images, words and spaces, removing them from their context to reconfigure them and give them the coherence of a script constructed within the specific space of the page, its signs all mastered, controlled and viewed from a distance.11 These various operations are passionately defended as components of the sovereign freedom of creation. To behave otherwise, to undermine the authoritarian nature of the script and its space, is to become invisible, inaudible. Proposals go unanswered—it’s as if one cannot be absolutely free when one is attentive to context.
I grew up and discovered the theater in the 1970s-80s. At that time in Europe, and especially in my home town of Strasbourg, theatrical and dramatic forms were open to context and relevant to the city, and challenged representation.12 So my early emotions were linked to narratives taking place in streets, palaces or warehouses, blending reality and fiction in myriad ways. I found this freedom again later, when working in non-European contexts: firstly in Syria,13 then on the African continent (from the 2000s on)14 where, as a scenographer, artist and teacher, I was involved in numerous projects with artists, especially choreographers. It soon became apparent—and was pointed out to me—that importing my European scenic practices, with their inherent history, clashed with the strong desire to break free from the consequences, vestiges and ruins of this violent shared past and its lingering financial, political and aesthetic phantoms. At first, I understood little of the dynamics that operated in the places I worked in; my references were at best inappropriate, at worst condescending and authoritarian. This came as a revelation, heightening my questioning of my own practice and of the stage itself—its modes of production, its founding principles, its dramatizations, the insidious way in which it reinstates the imperial violence of history... So through trial and error, I adjusted my references. I was pretty much on my own at first, at least in France, but (sometimes with a sense of having switched sides), accompanied by the artists I generally collaborate with who are well aware of the sources of a violence they endure in many different ways. I also learned that the essence of my work is not so much a relationship to the stage as a contextual relationship to the places in which I find myself creating. “Sharing in the life of the world,” to borrow Édouard Glissant’s expression;15 forming a part of it, together with the people I meet and love; imagining immersive narratives with them, in spaces that are different but not set apart.16 How, in practical terms, can a theatrical gesture establish a direct relationship between co-presences (actor/spectator, inhabitant/performer, inhabitant/spectator, etc.)? How can it play with the continuity/discontinuity between the stage and its wings and the rest of the world? What kind of active, effective, political relationship can be established with the context in which one is operating? The stage—classical or otherwise—has an essential quality: it allows for distancing. This interests the artists I work with in many different ways. Even when a staging is directly connected to the city and its inhabitants, this (spatial, in this case) distancing is central to our research: how can we use fiction and performance to open up a space in which to apprehend the world we live in?17 Scenography as a contextual exploration of the conditions for doing, saying and seeing, and of the possible forms of address and attention. This research also finds the spaces and resources it needs in the gaps between theater and performance, between dance, visual arts and installation.
A first project conducted along these lines was a traveling theater created in Douala at the turn of the 2000s.18 As this collective project had no theatrical premises, we decided to build a theater of our own—one that could be assembled and disassembled in less than a day. This first initiative led to a series of projects, variations between a “stage” and its context. Along the way, I became distanced from most of the theater artists of my generation in France… because contextual projects are political in a different way, through their use of site-specific aesthetic gestures and their self-extraction from the ambiguities of representational theater, which many of those artists hold in such high esteem. For my part, I try to (re)discover a place in the world through artistic exploration of elements distrusted by Western theater: darkness, noise, the various things the box-theater was designed to counteract by cutting itself off from the “chaos” of the world in order to speak of it.
3. Intervening in the city.
The issues illustrated here by my personal experience are central to a research program called Play>Urban, set up in 2011 by the Scenography Workshop at the HEAR (Haute École des Arts du Rhin) in Strasbourg, in which students, artists and researchers come together to conduct experimental collective projects in various worldwide contexts and publish a corresponding journal.19 This is what took us to Conakry.
When envisaging contextual “stagings” here, the issue of the European stage tradition is secondary20 because scenography is also the four W’s: Where, Who, When and Why. This allows for more room for maneuver and greater attentiveness to the places themselves through exploration of the material conditions of any potential theater venue, the conditions of the audience experience, of speech, etc. Who is speaking? From where, and to whom? Every part of the city of Conakry has scenic potential! Attentive to the urban sphere, we wandered the city and imagined the possibilities of this powerfully narrative environment: “villas-châteaux” (the huge private houses that have sprung up everywhere), bar terraces, damp-stained walls, intense energies... and all around, the sea. The gaps are so obvious here that any fiction is bound to be social and political. The festival we were involved in was held in the Kipé-Kaporo neighborhood, on a large “informal” nine-hectare plot in its center, used for all kinds of activities: car repairs; bars and clubs; football pitches; a farm... The plot forms an arena—a place brimming with life, brought into existence by the local people. Its theatricality is both powerful and fragile, as everything is precarious. As soon as we began to think of intervening artistically there, by becoming part of the scene and sparking a variation of intensity (with the consent of those who live and work there), the potential of this place where art and life are often entwined became instantly obvious. And what could we use to achieve our ends? The elements available: earth and mountains of trash, including all the salt-faded items washed up by the sea: clothing, plastic, cans, tires, dolls and toys... and backhoe loaders, and mangrove wood, and colored plastic chairs. And we had the daylight, the powerful night lights that play with color and shadow, the headlights of moving cars, the energy and goodwill of the people, the presences and possibilities... An abundance of spaces imbued with fantasy and beauty. Ideas too—visible all around us. The fantasy worlds of the artists and people who shape the city, there for us to see in the organization of everyday life. By observing and exploring these fantasy worlds together, we could grasp the substance, density and potential of the quotidian. For a scenographer, this means observing, choosing locations, introducing gesture and presence, moving and arranging, adding the new and the unexpected. Assembling (rather than simply reproducing) elements and meaning on an arena, rather than a stage... To quote Deleuze and Guattari on the subject of assembling, “The nomadism of those (…) who no longer even imitate anything? They only assemble. (…) an outside with which to assemble in heterogeneity, rather than a world to reproduce.”21
Our starting point for a circus show on this large plot was the plastic chairs that are omnipresent here and in most other places. In Conakry they come in many colors, with a simple but comfortable design that allows the sitters to forget their bodies and focus on what’s happening around them. The seamless integration of our show into this terrain was mostly due to the fact that it came as no surprise: we’d been rehearsing on the site for three weeks, while the inhabitants looked on. They were interested and they showed it. On the day of the performance, admittedly, the esplanade was distinguished by the presence of technical equipment, but the space only became theatrical when the performance began—when the circus performers began juggling with the piles of chairs, arranging them in a circle for the audience. This scenographic idea22 allowed a shift to occur and an arena to emerge. Other, similarly inspired scenographic contributions from the students created a subtle connection between the performance, the dramaturgy, the location and the bodies. Some sequences made repeated use of the gap between the actual site in all its ordinary reality and the scenographic effects that kept changing the spectators’ perspective, creating a constant to-and-fro between reality and fiction. This movement recurred throughout the dramatic action. As a spectator, I perceived the place for what it was (or at least, for what I understood it to be), and at the same time I saw it as the place to which the narrative took it.
We tend to overlook the possibilities of the everyday, their materiality and their subversive dimension, and the potential for creation in the urban space is still under-explored. This assertion might seem strange in view of the current plethora of proposals. But rather than just setting up a stage somewhere, I mean getting forms, intensities, rhythms, words, narratives, visions, hallucinations and concrete poetry to resonate with a context that is, in itself, a spiral of energies. The wealth of the everyday with its constantly creative intensity and its connections to the social, the marginal, the multitude and the authorities—the fabric of our lives—is an infinitely prospective and subversive area. This potential is linked to the theatricality of an urban space seen as an infrastructure of people,23 to performative forms that are not exclusively “visual,” to the artificial at the heart of the everyday, to the texture of interpersonal relationships. Diffuse and omnipresent theatricality (described by Jean Genet as inconsistent, which doesn’t mean invisible—Genet refers to elusive hyper-visibility and beauty).24 A permeable, omnipresent theatricality that evades and eludes us, opening the way for non-scenic (but highly theatrical) approaches.
So each new project is site-specific and immersive. To start from the site itself, we must first and foremost be present, attentive, near. This nearness requires sensitivity and attention, but also represents an aesthetic and political reversal. The notions of immersion and nearness might seem incompatible with those of perspective and distance, but it’s actually more complex than that: it’s partly immersion at a distance, partly immersed distance. These variations can be explored through play. Here, it is useful to look to the classical experience of theater, where the perspective allowing for thought is inextricably associated with distance.25 These games and shifts between distance and immersion, free of the constraints of the past, can inspire scenographic gestures. It seems to me that scenic gestures find their resonance(s) by means of games, gaps, and variations in immersion. An arena appears—a singular space-time in which fiction can emerge with no need for intermediaries or separations. The participants’ bodies naturally exchange their usual status for that of performer. The space-time of fiction comes up against the world, blends into it, breaks away from it, attaches itself to objects.26 And in the co-presence of the gesture we watch this happen, with no need for another image or copy (although they are also possible). We are no longer limited to the action of “going to the theater;” we can also glance up, look around, stop what we’re doing because a space has opened up here, right next to us, where we usually live our lives without taking much notice of our surroundings. Through haptic seeing and touching, we assemble and invent the physical elements, narratives, lights and sounds by looking around, walking, sitting or standing wherever we like. This way anything is possible: forms are not necessarily invisible or conceptual. This recalls festive or ritual forms and events... a kind of “difference without separation”27 that has always existed.
I no longer have much of a “point of view,” and I’m determined not to force myself to have one. Instead, I create a spatial action—a permeable arrangement allowing everyone sharing in the theatrical moment to contribute their own experience. The idea is for a shared sensibility, a diversity of shared and individual sensory experiences.28 It’s not about my personal point of view materialized in a theatrical space-time, but rather something inexpressible that belongs to everyone and is necessarily opaque, not worth trying to explain—it has to remain opaque out of respect for each individual’s singularity: “The wanderer dives into the opacities of that share of the world to which he has access.”29 It’s about being free to experience something and live with that experience. It’s about fantasy. Opacity as a form of attention. In Shift…Centre, a choreographed performance by Opiyo Okach,30 the dancers, singer and audience are together on a stage in a park, gymnasium, station concourse… The preparatory work for this performance focused on creating conditions for the spectators’ presence that would encourage their attentiveness. Audience capacity was limited to ensure that the space remained fluid, leaving people free to interact with the dancers. The gaze was structured (but not imposed) by transparent tarpaulins, while mobile lighting indicated points of particular intensity. During the performances, some spectators followed the dancers while others stood at an attentive distance; still others preferred to sit, for a close-up sensory experience and the pleasure of immersive physical proximity, while others danced, briefly, in the semi-darkness. The space was designed to extend the range of perspectives—close or distant, stationary or moving. It also allowed spectators not to see everything, while creating a shared experience, a “me” and an “us”: the transparent tarpaulins created a mirror-like reflection, a means of guessing what was going on outside the more immediate field of attention of the shared danced narrative. What was happening in the vicinity, at a distance, could therefore be present without disturbing the main chosen experience which the spectators were free to leave whenever they chose, to take a look elsewhere, thereby experiencing a sense of “us” in the multitude of interchangeable perspectives.
George Bush Senior’s question31—“Are you with us or against us?”—divided the world into two opposing sides… and prompted Opiyo Okach to work with dance as closely as possible to the audience. My personal revelation came from Thierry de Duve’s discussion of the work of Dan Graham:
“The political no longer lies in the act of emitting but in that of receiving, is no longer on the side of activity but on that of passivity, is no longer in action but in passion […] to act is to see, to see is to choose, to choose is to judge. The fact that we have become onlookers does not dispense us from deciding what we look at. And the fact that we are also observed onlookers obliges us to decide, case by case, what to show and when and why to show it. Judging and exposing oneself to judgement, with no certainty on either side, is perhaps where the political now lies.”32
Fiction springs from context. For a project in Medellin called Fictions Ordinaires,33 the inhabitants of the Sinai neighborhood (who settled there after the civil war) recounted their own “creation of the world”: how they’d built the neighborhood over the years and wanted to stay there. Using their stories as a starting point, we arranged a number of gestures in a street: theater, video, sculpture, installation, urban walkabout, participatory projects, sound design, with everyone conducting their own experiments. The neighborhood brought us together and was the factor that connected the artists’ gestures. The proposals and media were ultimately interwoven and interacted to create a show which pervaded rather than interrupted the everyday uses of the space. People were free to come whenever they liked. The decision was not ours; it was how the people chose to be attentive. We were made welcome and did as we pleased, with the goodwill and support of the neighborhood. The people went about their business with us among them. It was stimulating for everyone, with constant interactions between reality and fiction. Life didn’t come to a standstill. The inhabitants accompanied us as witnesses; they were not spectators.
For the 2019 edition of the Praticables festival in Bamako,34 in courtyards and streets, we focused on the conditions for collective listening and attention conducive to a shared experience. How could we favor a quality of attention in a place where true silence is almost impossible? But silence also comes from the ability to concentrate, to forget what’s around us; it occurs in attentive bodies. So we turned our attention to the issue of comfortable seating,35 using the chairs woven from bright colored thread that are found all over the city. We had dozens of them made, changing the height of the seats; once assembled into rows they took on an organic form, resembling a flexible, non-authoritarian assignation rather than a barrier dividing the space. Everyone could choose their own angle, turn their seat and position their body in a comfort conducive to concentration, without being subjected to the kind of fixedness that forces everyone to look in the same direction. The point of view was no longer primarily a theatrical convention but became each individual’s experience, shared with others. This physical freedom created a harmony between narrative and experience; the simple gesture of transforming an ordinary object into an extra-quotidian resource made sense to everyone.
The contexts shaped the spatial and dramaturgical conditions for staging. We experienced this permeability—the disappearance of boundaries—by becoming part of the space, but also by the simple fact of moving from place to place as we roamed the streets and courtyards of Kipé Kaporo and Nongo in Conakry and elsewhere, going from one proposal to another. The classical conventions of space diminished without quite disappearing, discreetly creating a decolonial effect: the contexts de-formatted the theatrical proposals, making it possible to become part of “the great unknown before us, which requires us to signify the whole, namely the word of all the peoples.”36 Were we still spectators in those spaces, in the large arena? When further considering the forms of co-presence and attention that come to the fore when a narrative gesture becomes part of the everyday, are we not rather in the role of witnesses? Attentive, involved and immersed witnesses.
My thanks to Leyla Rabih and Dominique Malaquais for their proofreading and comments.
1 Joseph Tonda, L’impérialisme postcolonial, Karthala, Paris 2015.
2 Interview with John Cage, by Michael Kirby and Richard Schechner, Tulane Drama Review vol. 10, no.2, Winter 1965, 2nd edition, Nouvelles Scènes collection, Les Presses du Réel 2017, p.67.
3 Richard Schechner, Performance, Editions Théâtrales, 2008.
4 Ann Laura Stoler, Imperial Debris, Duke University Press, Durham 2013.
5 That of both author and spectator.
6 Attention that depends on sight alone to comprehend one’s surroundings.
7 Much has been written on how geometry and the point of view constrain and colonize; see esp. Michel de Certeau, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze.
8 Fred Moten, interview with Marielle Pelissero, in Théâtre Public no. 233, 2019, p.9.
9 And, more recently, Ariela Aisha Azoulay, Potential History, Unlearning Imperialism, Verso 2019.
10 Edward Said, In the Shadow of the West, interview with Jonathan Crary and Phil Mariant, 1985.
11 Michel de Certeau, L’invention du quotidien, les arts de faire, Folio Essais, Gallimard 1990, pp. 198 and foll.
12 From 1977 to 1983, the Théâtre National de Strasbourg, directed at that time by Jean-Pierre Vincent, was an important place of experimentation with theatrical forms that deconstructed representation, within a wide range of contexts.
13 From 1994 to 1997, then again in 2004, I taught at the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Damascus, and created the stage designs for three plays.
14 Mainly Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa and Senegal, but also Mozambique, Kenya, Burkina Faso, and more recently Mali and Guinea.
15 Edouard Glissant, Poétique de la relation, Poétique III, nrf, Gallimard, 1990, p.47.
16 Fred Moten, ibid.
17 And on the other hand, how can we take possession of a box-theater, whenever possible, by trying to force its walls outward? It’s a machine whose codes have to be mastered.
18 The Eyala Pena traveling theater, founded in collaboration with the Cercle Kapsiki collective of artists in Douala, Cameroon, as part of a project conducted by Barbara Bouley, director of the Un-Excursus theater company.
19 Play>Urban (playurban.hear.fr/), a research program developed with François Duconseille at the HEAR since 2011, provides a space for urban artistic experimentation by students, artists and researchers in numerous worldwide urban contexts (Johannesburg, Strasbourg, Medellin, Seoul, and Mayotte in the future). Play>Urban works in tandem with Scénos Urbaines—transdisciplinary residencies in big-city neighborhoods worldwide. See urbanscenos.org
20 In Conakry, however, it is still the absolute reference for most theater directors, unfamiliar with other ways of fitting into the urban space in view of the enduring reflex of the frontal stage. Nonetheless, there is a perceptible need for change.
21 Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Mille Plateaux, Editions de Minuit, Paris 1980, p.35.
22 From Gabrielle Ritz and Anton Grancoin, students at La Cambre [Brussels] and HEAR respectively.
23 AbdouMaliq Simone, People as Infrastructure, in Play>Urban 1, HEAR Strasbourg, 2016. A.Simone’s writings have greatly nourished my understanding of today’s urban dynamics.
24 Jean Genet, Un captif amoureux, Folio Gallimard, Paris 1995 (about the Black Panthers).
25 “Nothing is visible without distance,” Poussin, cited by Jean-Christophe Bailly, Le champ mimétique, Le Seuil, Paris 2005.
26 Olivier Neveux, Contre le théâtre politique, La Fabrique éditions, 2019, pp. 248 and foll.
27 Fred Moten, ibid.
28 J. Rancière, Le partage du Sensible, La Fabrique édition, Paris 2000.
29 Edouard Glissant, ibid, p. 33.
30 Created at the Godown Arts Center, Nairobi 2005, then on tour.
31 Just after the first Gulf War.
32 Thierry de Duve, Dan Graham et la critique de l’autonomie artistique, in Dan Graham, Oeuvres 1965-200, exhibition catalogue, Paris Musées, Paris, 2001, p. 63
33 A project co-organized with theater director Catherine Boskowitz in Medellin, then in Fort de France and Port au Prince in 2017, with Columbian, Martinican and Haitian artists, and students from the HEAR.
34 A festival founded by actor and director Lamine Diarra in the Bamako Koura neighborhood in 2017. The scenographic team was made up of Clara Walter, Marc Vallès, Ikhyeon Park and Elie Vendrand Maillet, former students in the HEAR scenography workshop.
35 Clara Walter, Siriman Dembele and me.
36 Edouard Glissant, ibid p. 97.