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» Ksa:k » Centrul pentru Arta Contemporana | Enacting text | Performing Social Progress

«Le drame des constructeurs» by Henri Michaux, will be the starting point of Alain Hélou’ contribution
as co-tutor.

This text was written in 1937 by the french poet, born in Belgium. Michaux is an unclassified and
major figure of literature and appears as one of the most important poet of the 20th century in France.
Close from surrealist movement, he has never been surrealist but we may find also similarities with
Russian poet as Harms or Vvedenski.

«Le drame des constructeurs» is one of the two plays written by Michaux. He gave up fast this attempt
to write for the stage and invite anybody not to try to perform it. These plays appear finally perhaps
more made to be heard than played.
This is precisely this difficulty to be performed that makes one of the interests of this play for our
workshop.
Using a text, reading it but not performing it, just taking it as a source of inspiration, to create
something else, in resonance with it but also and mainly with specific issues of the participants and
considering the specific political and social situation in which they are involved.

In this play, 9 characters -only presented by letters (A to G)-, try to escape to their situation of interned.
We are in the garden around the asylum. Each is speaking half for himself, half for universe. Thanks
their speech and their fantasy, they develop means to struggle against their own anxiety and their
enemies, materialized by guards. One of them (A) finally decide to go beyond and throw himself on the
guards.

What interest Alain HĂ©lou in this text; Power of speech, importance of creating is own universe, links
between individualities and group... (and of course, the analogy you can do between these characters
and artist’s situation and behaviors)

More precisely, in the context of the workshop, this text appears a very good point of beginning.
Firstly because this text is rich in mental pictures, but mainly for two reasons:

-It deals with question of confinement, and this aspect may resonate very strongly for Moldovan young
artists. It invites to deal with this political and social major issue.
-the behavior of A, who decide to struggle physically with the guards open the question of the border
between fiction and action and by consequence question of the border between art and life.

This question of the limits of representation is the core question concerning links between performance
and performing art.

Participants will be invited to immerse themselves in that text, learn to read it and let it becoming less
and less dark, and finally use it as a tool to approach theoretical issues.
Moreover, part of this text can be used directly as base for their own work and be re-appropriated by
participants.



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