Episode 5 : Tino Sehgal, «This Situation» by Mathilde Priolet et Michel Gauthier
Performance Tales, a project initiated by Sophie Delpeux
"To the extent that a Happening is not a commodity but a brief event, from the standpoint of any publicity it may receive, it may become a state of mind." Allan Kaprow
What can we actually know from past performances? Academia leads us to believe we have access to everything that happened, backed up by documents and the intentions of the artist. As for all works of art—material works of art, I mean—this would imply a concrete, tangible quality, it would give the event a reality we can connect with. But I fear this is not really the case, and that many historical performances are still —at least partly—unknowable because of their ephemeral nature.
This is how Allan Kaprow spoke of Performances.
But this does not prevent us from turning them into stories, from talking about them, quite the opposite in fact. Their strength lies in being recounted, passed on by word of mouth, with the only limitation that the narrative is a construction on an absence, which a re-enactment or a pile of documents can never replace.
Performance Tales is not about collecting testimonies to be sure of what took place, on the contrary, it is about ensuring there is more than one voice, one interpretation, one story. Ensuring past Performances will continue to ignite imagination and will still, even if only a little, offer an experience.
With the support of the amis de la maison rouge