Adventures can be found anywhere, même dans la répétition
Beloved Book, Transformed Book
Seated around a large table, a group of artists apply themselves to the task of rewriting the journals and notebooks of the U.S author and activist Susan Sontag. They reappropriate her words and unpack their possibilities, altering the substance of the text by projecting themselves into it. Each fragment is read, shared, exhibited. Through this ceaseless communal labour, the performers produce a new, collective work that’s closer to us.
Immersed in the silence of writing, the drawings of words, and the echoes of voices that mingle together, the audience combines its own experience of the world, of art, and of desire with that of the young Sontag, who is transformed and multiplied under the authorship of the assembled artists. This performance-installation presented continuously over eight days is a vibrant and mischievous declaration of love to literature. The interdisciplinary group PME-ART celebrates the creative power of reading by seizing upon its potential for perpetual reactivation.
Produced by PME-ART
Creation, Performance and Installation Burcu Emeç + Marie Claire Forté + Nadège Grebmeier Forget + Adam Kinner + Catherine Lalonde + Ashlea Watkin + Jacob Wren
Artistic contribution Claudia Fancello
Text Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals & Notebooks 1947-1963 © The Estate of Susan Sontag (2008) used by permission of The Wylie Agency (Royaume-Uni) + Renaître : journaux et carnets (1947-1963) translated from English (United States) by Anne Wicke © Christian Bourgois Éditeur (2010)
Artistic Coordinator Sylvie Lachance
Co-produced by Festival TransAmériques + Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery
Co-presented by Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery
Written by Sara Fauteux
Translated by David Dalgleish
Premiered at Festival TransAmériques, on June 1 juin 2022
About the artists
The interdisciplinary group PME-ART is dedicated to the creation of hybrid artistic objects with which people always engage in an authentic, singular manner. The ethical demands imposed by this approach, which aims to bring life into the works and art into human experience, has enriched the group’s practice for over 20 years.
PME-ART never turns away from paradox, drawing on it instead to supply the generous and unpredictable material of its work, where critical and poetic reflection mix together freely.
Bilingual since its founding, PME-ART performed En Français Comme en Anglais, It’s Easy to Criticize in 1999 at the Festival de théâtre des Amériques. Driven by the pursuit of a new form of representation that’s more collaborative and performative, the Montreal company has since created a dozen projects that have appeared around the world, including Le Génie des autres/Unrehearsed Beauty (2002), HOSPITALITY 3: Individualism Was a Mistake (2008) and The DJ Who Gave Too Much Information (2011).
Jacob Wren, who steers PME-ART’s activities with a gentle hand, and Sylvie Lachance, artistic co-director, work within a prolific artistic community. A loosely defined group, PME-ART constantly seeks to refresh its practice through local, national, and international collaborations. As an author, Wren has written a number of acclaimed books. In 2018, he published Authenticity Is a Feeling: My Life in PME-ART, which he adapted into the show A User’s Guide to Authenticity Is a Feeling. Along with recounting the company’s fascinating journey, this work, which has been translated into French by Daniel Canty, represents a compelling contribution to the theory of performance.