• cinéma
  • performance

Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers, in partnership with pointligneplan, invite Erik Bullot to program a cycle of lecture-performances around a remarkable turning point can be observed today, the "performative movie", practice at the crossroads of these two mediums. Film where the artist / filmmaker substitute the performance to the image, the statement to the film, exhibiting the construction process rather than the result - making it happen at the very moment of his story, according to linguistic criteria of "'performative utterance'.

Edgar Bergen et Charlie McCarthy



Can one make a film out of words? In experimental cinema and contemporary art today one notes a host of filmic practices that seek to replace film by its enunciation, in the form of illustrated lectures, readings or performances. Fragments of a film to come (photographs, documents, fragments of a screenplay) presented by way of a film proper. This performative turn is certainly compelling.
We ought to specify, from the outset, that the term ‘performative’ carries two meanings: the first, properly linguistic sense, refers, according to Austin, to performative verbs that accomplish an act through their very enunciation, i.e., verbs such as to baptise or to promise, while the second meaning pertains to the broader field of artistic performance. Today, with certain artists or filmmakers, we observe a performative practice of cinema located at the meeting point of the two meanings. In fact, it is difficult to totally separate the two meanings because performance, in the artistic sense, often conveys a performative dimension, in the linguistic sense.

Does exhibiting film in the manner of a proposition or statement pertain to the performative? Is ‘to exhibit’ a performative verb? Relocated from the auditorium to the museum, disconnected from its original apparatus and subjected to new technical configurations, does film now need to be performed in order to happen? How might we apprehend this performative turn in cinema? Is it tied solely to the linguistic current? Does it involve a shift of cinema itself towards the performing arts? Indeed, these various acts point to the revival of the film lecturer of early cinema who would commentate and relay the film during the screening, or a reminder of the instructions given to the projectionist, or the simple continuation of certain propositions associated with expanded cinema, which aimed to escape the strict confines of the cinema session. The now frequent use of the adjective ‘performative’ in reference to the contemporary art lecture is symptomatic — but how might we apprehend the term’s popularity? 

These are some of the key stakes of this programme of talks, discussions and events, during which artists, filmmakers and theorists will try to map out these emerging practices.

THE FILM AND ITS DOUBLE. On performative film.
A cycle of five ‘double bills’ composed of an artistic performance proper, presented by an artist, and a more discursive lecture addressing the issues and implications of performative film and the performative at large – to be held at the Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers from April to December 2015.

April 14, Érik Bullot / Silvia Maglioni et Graeme Thomson
May 19, Uriel Orlow / Franck Leibovici
October 13, Alexis Guillier / Thomas Clerc
November 17, Clara Schulmann / Simon Ripoll-Hurier
December 1st, Rabih Mroué / Stephen Wright

The film and its double. On Projectionist.
In continuation of this program, a day of meetings and performances organized at the MAC VAL, get together theorists, filmmakers and artists to interrogate the figure of the projectionist. Are invited Roland Sabatier, Peter Miller, Peter Szendy and Esperanza Collado.

Friday November 20, from 11 am to 6 pm
(reservation@macval.fr / www.macval.fr)


All these encounters and interviews will be published, either in the form of a catalogue or journal issue.


In partnership with pointligneplan and in collaboration with the MAC VAL.