jeudi 21 mai 2009

happy... is that weird?

There's something that doesn't make sense:
I'm swamped with dissertation writing because my deadline is approaching, I still don't have an answer from Touchstone theatre concerning the apprenticeship, and yet, I'm quite happy these days!
What the hell is wrong with me?
Nothing's wrong, precisely!
I'm just trusting myself again.
For a while, I really thought the trust was gone. And then it resurfaced as I started writing applications, making plans for next year and generally taking myself a little bit more seriously.

But in order for me to actually keep on feeling good about myself, I do need to finish the damn dissertation. Hence, fewer blog posts about life and stuff, and more pages on the minor form in contemporary theatre in the works of Caryl Churchill, Heiner Müller and Michel Vinaver...

vendredi 15 mai 2009

Warhol portraits: the glory of superficiality

I'm about to leave to go the library, but I felt like writing a little entry about the Andy Warhol exhibit I went to see at the Grand Palais a few days ago.
"Non-plussed" is the word that comes to mind. I was uninterested in those portraits, uninterested in the sleekness of the faces, the lack of imperfections. And I was almost angry to see such craftsmanship wasted on superficiality. When Warhol says he's a commercial artist, I respect that. But he seems to use that tag of "commercial artist" to prevent himself from questionning his own talent and artistry.
The few paintings I almost enjoyed were the imperfect ones, the ones where something apart from the faces appeared. But that didn't happen often. And, ironically, I was much more touched by the polaroid pictures that were taken to create the paintings, because they were at least raw and real.
As I was walking from room to room, I couldn't help thinking about Richard Avedon, and the way he caught a form of truth in his portraits of the rich and beautiful people. Something that went beyond the glitter and the makeup. He also claimed his right as an artist to be commercial, and didn't apologize about it. But he nevertheless chose to delve deep into the art of photography and consider the people posing in front of him as people and not icons or objects representing modern times. Perhaps that's the way we need to read Warhol's art: a conservation of the iconic in the people he portrayed. A trace of the inhuman, the purely plastic side of humanity. Perhaps, but that is so utterly opposite to my understanding of humanity that I'm not able to understand Warhol's entreprise. There's got to be some form of compassion in a painting or in any form of art in order to be engaged with the work on a deeper level. No?

For an overview of the exhibit, see here:

And, to prove my point about Warhol and Avedon, here are both artist's depictions of a modern icon, Marilyn Monroe: (And I have to say, Warhol's Marilyn series was one of my favourites in the exhibit, because it was a fresh take on fame, but his 1980's portraits are so mecanical that the brilliance of his method is not enough to sustain the viewer and to refrain him/her from being bored and unengaged)

Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe, 1967

Richard Avedon, Marilyn Monroe, New York city, May 6, 1957.

dimanche 10 mai 2009

Danse mirage

Studio au bout d'une allée aux gros pavés séparés par des touffes d'herbe. Un de ces petits coins insoupçonnés, magiques. La porte entr'ouverte du studio donne sur une petite cour. On entend la grosse pluie frapper le sol. L'odeur rappellerait presque la campagne. Pas de bruit de moteur, même en sourdine. Chansons de ralliement des oiseaux alentours.

Et nous, on danse. Sol de bois et corps en fête. Improvisations en tous sens, chorégraphies faciles. Gens de tous gabarits, quatre hommes et un peu plus de filles. Tous différents, et bien contents. D'être là, dans ce petit coin retiré de la ville. Bien contents de danser, en attendant la nuit, dans l'éphémère mirage du Paris parfait.

jeudi 7 mai 2009


I overslept. The interview is today. I had a meeting with my directrice de mémoire yesterday. She jumped when I said I couldn't stay until september. She doesn't think me handing my dissertation in june is feasible. In order to do quality research, that is. I'm passed caring about quality research. I don't think she understands my procrastinator's mind. She's a researcher, so obviously she knows how to work alone, keeping deadlines. But she did say that I should finish the dissertation by june if I wanted to just finish the masters and move on. I think I'm going to do that. I took advantage of public transportation time to change my mémoire outline. I'm feeling a bit stressed. A little. The Touchstone interview is at 5 pm. I need to prepare, anticipate some questions. Think about questions to ask. I want to work with you because the company looks AWESOME! No, that won't do it. Damn. Please take me. Just take me. Please. I need to stop the wordflow. Stop the wordflow! Stop the wordflow!


I also need to replace my French passport. And to see about cancelling the internet on my phone, which I don't use (the internet). Telephone companies are such cheats. Such cheats. Too many things in my mind right now, it's overheating. Overheat! Overheat! Overheat!

Goodness gracious. I'm surprised I haven't yet had a heart attack.

mardi 5 mai 2009

Bibliothèque abandonnée

Ce qui suit est un petit texte que j'ai écrit l'année dernière, alors que je planchais sur mon mémoire de master 1. Me revoilà à la BNF tous les jours pour finir mon master 2. Et, de temps en temps, la même vision me revient...


Je suis à la BNF et je travaille sur mon mémoire. Ma concentration me joue des tours aujourd’hui, et j’ai du mal à rester éveillée pour travailler. Pourtant, je m’approche de la fin de l'été, et je dois bientôt l’avoir terminé et rendu. Mais, alors que mes paupières s’alourdissent, je commence à voir un peu flou, et, sur le côté, j’ai l’impression de voir une petite fille blonde, aux cheveux longs, qui se balance sur une des chaises de la bibliothèque. La bibliothèque a changé d’apparence. Plongée dans la pénombre, les chaises et les tables survivent au beau milieu de toiles d’araignées et de poussière. La décrépitude a gagné les lieux, et la salle spacieuse est emplie de l’écho des rires de l’enfant. Un bruissement d’aile... c’est un pigeon qui est venu picorer la page d’un livre abandonné. Des fenêtres, il ne reste que des éclats, et le vent s’engouffre avec délice dans la vaste cathédrale du savoir, abandonnée.

dimanche 3 mai 2009


Funny how moods translate physically.
For the longest time, I had not been able to fall asleep at night or to wake up in the morning very easily. I'd stay up late and eventually force myself to turn the lighs off. In the morning, my alarm and the radio would wake me up, but actually getting up took another half hour.

But now that my plans for next year are starting to be clearer, and that I decided to finish my dissertation by June, I have started to fall asleep more suddenly. In the same way I used to, at university, just fall on my bed and sleep, perhaps after a few beers or cocktails with friends (and sometimes fully sober but simply exhausted). That's one of my favourite ways of falling asleep: still dressed, completely unaware of what's going on a few seconds after having put my head on the pillow... and then waking up int the morning realizing I still have my clothes on. That's when I know I'm relaxed and well. When falling asleep is not a problem, and waking proves to be easy because there are interesting things to be done during the day.
Not to say that I'm not scared about going to the US this summer. If I get the internship, I'll need to find an appartment to live in, get along with a flatmate, learn how America works again, the culture quirks, the habits. And most importantly, I'll work in a theatre and will have to do everything not to let myself or anyone else down with my lack of experience. I'll meet new people, see old friends again I haven't seen in a long time. I'll be building myself a different life, without the safety net of a university.
If I don't get the internship, it'll be even scarier, since I'll have to improvise, start from scratch.

And although I have lately been able to fall asleep, that doesn't mean I dont have nightmares. I dreamt that I was being knived by this scary looking guy in a cinema, and that I retaliated by hurting him with old tin cans. I woke up, because the dream made me, and remember thinking: "I could get shot!" and then falling asleep again.

Maybe nighttime drama shouldn't be discussed during the day.