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Curated by Marie Gautier and Clémence de Montgolfier with Speech and What Archive
11 Nov 2012—24 Nov 2012

Performance Saturday November 24, 2012 at 4 pm

Speech and What Archive (SWA) is a gang of young and experienced art professionals who seek to make speech material together. By proposing the event and exhibition What the monkey says no one pays attention to,  SWA members Marie Gautier and Clémence de Montgolfier want to address the issues of absurd imitation, bodily embarrassment, disregarded discourses, and to embrace the ridicule as a practice in itself. Historians think that the figure of Harlequin in European theater would not be inspired by ancient Greece but would be a re-make of the traditional figure of the monkey since middle-age in China (due to travels at the time), the most famous one being Sun Wukong, the King Monkey of Beijing’s Opera, 16th century. The monkey in China was then used as a critic of political authority and power relations. In French, the word « singer », literally means acting like a monkey, and is used to evoke an action of mimicking to turn something or someone into ridicule. The mask of Harlequin in Venice would actually be a declination of a monkey mask from where the figure of the artist-monkey using mimic to reveal the stupidity of the authority in power in western theater and cinema would come from.

SWA is inviting artists, poets, writers, thinkers, singers to take a hold of what they want to say and how they want to move. Using already-known forms, formats and bodies to make them say something else. The body is political; the body is shaped by language. By giving legitimacy to illegitimate practices, by taking seriously what is frivolous and by considering the scientific in what is absurd, we want to think again what we believed was already thought through.

With A Constructed World, Raul Paulino Baltazar, Chris Corrente, Arthur Fléchard, Dora Garcia, Sharon Goodwin, Anna Hess, Niki Korth, Laith Mc Gregor, Elsa Philippe, Matthew Rana & Eric Garduno, Yann Sérandour, Fabrice Reymond, Speech and What Archive, The Big Conversation Space (Clémence de Montgolfier & Niki Korth), Fabien Vallos, Daniel Yovino.

Monkey Dance is a performative event whose form takes on diverse formats of ambulant spectacles and live presentation. Monkey Dance uses speaking, reading, singing, dancing, acrobatic movements, musical elements, costumes and shared ignorance as means to bring speech and desire back within the artistic context. Monkey Dance aims to share and activate ongoing research that the group has been developping over the past three years.

Monkey Dance will be performed by Speech and What Archive group and includes contributions from its members, poems from Fabrice Reymond, philosophy texts from Fabien Vallos, Nothing from artist Yann Sérandour.

SWA will also perform a musical piece from special guest Chris Corrente, artist and playwriter, entitled “I’ll Keep Smiling”, extract from the musical Best Clown In The City written in 2012. Speech and What Archive is A Constructed World, Etienne Bernard, Marie Gautier, Anna Hess, Clémence de

Montgolfier, Guillaume Pavageau, Sébastien Pluot, Matthew Rana, Fabrice Reymond, Yann Sérandour, Fabien Vallos.

Projet réalisé avec le concours de la Direction régionale des affaires culturelles d’Ile-de-France – aide individuelle à la création 2012