Macha Makeïeff

Born in 1953 in Marseille (France)

Stries, gazes and other territories

Which artists' gazes will I recognise? And what will my own be as it accompanies a stage in the artistic lives of a handful of young people with whom chance has brought my way?

The pleasure of the Tarot, you might say, and a genuine élan.

So what should be on the programme in our journey?

First of all, finding together places of dizziness, enthusiasm, curiosity, desire for the Other, for their intelligence, and for other sensitive approaches. Sounding the gaze, revealing the work and how it moves things forward, in a reciprocity between looker and looked-at.

Praise narrative, always, inside and out. In the work itself, and in the installation of the works, sound out the secrets of the space, its eloquence. How can we make the story audible through movement, in the installation space, in this playground? Watching. Recounting.

Storytelling is a confession, an enigma, a game, a torment. Here or there, it has belonged to the poet since the dawn of time. Yes, as a night owl that must be illuminated, it will be much indebted to light.

In a move away from the conventional, far from the expected, loathing the clichés of an era, always looking for the Uncertain, the ambivalence of our artistic gestures and the field of the unknown that they open up. To approach the desire for creation and its ever delectable pleasure. To express the pleasure of doing. And at the same time, to question the figure of the artist, their destiny, step by step -- twists, turns, frustrations, sequences and surprises. Read Starobinski.

From September 2023 to July 2024: we will draw up* a schedule of meetings and areas for exploration. First, an in situ approach, a tangible crossing will be freely proposed: the territory of the stage, the rehearsal space, the backstage area; then, as desire dictates, crossing or skimming this field of representation, in the exercise of this living art, of the show and its artifices. In concrete terms, on the menu: a theatrical creation, with its visual script and images as a sensitive counterpoint to the text put forward. The sensitive before any form of intelligibility. Follow the stages of premeditation, the development of the show, see it being made both on stage and from the wings (TNP, Odéon). What does performance mean when it is happening in real time?

It will be the time of praise for theatre as visual art!

Then there's the second territory, where we near the beginnings of a major installation at the Mucem in Marseille, scheduled for December 2024: fairground collections, stocks, reserves, harvests, accumulation and all the poetic bazaar of things -- clapped out, worn out, junked, sublime -- which will make up the story. Then sketches in a cardboard model, with movement around the Things, the Beasts and the works of art entrusted to us. A confrontation with the fairground arts, the figure of the acrobat haunting artists of all stripes; all this for the widest possible audience. A confrontation of the prosaic (finding its sublime part) and the recognised masterpiece... Here again, the joy of the eyes. What is a clown? The closed world of fairground performers who nevertheless roam, move, set up and dismantle a ring, a sacred and somewhat wretched circle of clowns and freaks. In film, painting and visual performance, from Alice Guy to Wim Wenders, from Niki de Saint-Phalle to Claude Cahun, Garouste, Lautrec, Arbus, Pierrick Sorin...

In these stages we will measure the hospitality and friction between artists, the porosity between universes and disciplines, and -- who knows? -- extensions into each person's creative work. Revelation or rejection, two expressions before us. Everyone in this exchange, the attentive predator of each work in progress.

There will still be fantasy, like dandyism. We're always someone's hobbyhorse.

Another matter we're going to consider: The actor's incredible body. What is to be done with it?

Starting this autumn, together with those I'll be accompanying and discovering, we're going to find our method for this journey, this initiatory conversation lasting several months, sometimes silent, sometimes full of words, colours, noises, expressiveness, artifice and sharing, which I really hope will culminate in a kind of Manifesto. My dogma will be benevolence, that elegant corollary of rigour.

Boldness too. I'll be on the lookout.

I'd love us to meet up in Paris, Villeurbanne and Marseille too.