Skip to navigation Skip to main content


Michelle Cotton | Chef de Département

Theme: Performance/Theatre
Name of the book: Brecht on Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic
Author’s name: Bertolt Brecht, (John Willet; Translator)
Publisher: Hill and Wang - Dramabooks


I studied English Literature and the modern theatre plays that I read or saw performed at this time have stayed with me and continue to inform my perspectives on contemporary performance. Luigi Pirandello’s trilogy of ’theatre in theatre’ plays have been particularly important. They don’t seem to be available as an ensemble so if I had to pick one it would be 'Tonight We Improvise’, which was first performed in 1930 and has the original Italian title 'Questa Sera Si Recita a Soggetto’. A 1960’s copy of 'Brecht on Theatre’ translated by John Willett is another book I have from that time. I probably purchased the book for the cover design, I don’t remember reading it at the time, but this collection of Berthold Brecht’s writings on theatre and aesthetics is something I keep returning to. In particular, I recommend the essay on ‘Alienation Effects in Chinese Acting’ which was first published in English in 1936. Finally, I am a longtime fan of the Glasgow-based performance artist, Sue Tompkins. In these times of confinement when there is no chance of seeing one of her live performances, I recommend ordering a copy of the album ‘Any Other City’ which she recorded as part of the band Life Without Buildings in 2001.

Joel Valabrega | Curateur Programme public et Performance

Theme: Performance/Theatre
Name of the book: Sportification. Eurovisions, Performativity and Playgrounds
Author’s name: Aa.Vv.
Publisher: Viaindustriae publishing


I have always been attracted to the world of childhood, play and trash culture in relation to performativity. This publication is composed of euro-texts, a living inventory of 400 performances and 250 playgrounds staged between 1965 and 1999 in several European cities, during the course of the TV game show Jeux Sans Frontières. The authors have used an artistic approach to test different playing fields with ludic actions. This unusual comparative system sets new grounds for an inter-media definition of European performance in which performances, happenings and art based game-actions interact with televised sub-pop culture.

Theme: Performance/Theater
Name of the book: Superpositions
Author’s name: Carmelo Bene, Gilles Deleuze
Publisher: Quodlibet


"It's as if there are two opposing operations. On the one hand, it rises to 'greater': a thought is made a doctrine, a way of life is made a culture, an event is made history. In this way one claims to recognize and admire, but, in fact, one normalizes oneself. It happens the same for the peasants of Puglia, according to Carmelo Bene: you can give them theatre, cinema and even television. It's not a matter of regretting the good old days, but of being dismayed at the operation they undergo, the graft, the transplant done behind their backs to normalize them. They have become greater.” (From the text by Gilles Deleuze)

Theme: Performance/Theatre
Name of the book: Performance: Live Art, 1909 to the Present
Author’s name: Roselee Goldberg
Publisher: Landmark Books Intl; 1st edition


This book is a real performance milestone. For me this book has been a real tool, very useful to increase my historical knowledge about the world of performance. Performance: Live Art, 1909 to the Present discusses a full century of performance, from the Futurist manifesto of 1909 to the second decade of the new millennium. Art historian and gallery curator Rose Lee Goldberg explains how a medium once used only in sporadic outbreaks of artistic dissent has become, over the course of a century, a vital and integral part of the contemporary mainstream and a global phenomenon.

Marie Buisson | Régisseur des Expositions

Theme: Performance/Theatre
Title: Marina Abramovic, the artist is present (Film, 2012)
Stage manager: Matthew Akers


Marina Abramovic is for me the artist who best represents artistic performance. Initially with a questioning eye, I have always been intrigued by her action-works, which often exceed the understanding, the limits of the reasonable and the acceptable. On my way to the Louisiana Museum of Art in northern Denmark, I saw a retrospective exhibition with videos, installations in which the visitor became actors, and reactivations of his performances. By being in front of and in her works, I discovered her sensitivity, her questioning and her ways of translating it into action, on a thread that is always ready to give way. In fact, this film/documentary, which follows the eponymous exhibition at MoMA in 2010, entirely translates the sensations, awareness and intelligence of her performances which, beyond the scandal, are striking.

Theme: Performance/Theatre
Title: Les Damnés
Script: Luchino Visconti
: Ivo Van Hove
Publisher: L'avant-scène théâtre, 2016


Discovered at the Avignon Festival, this film by Visconti, then theatrical play, places the spectator or the reader in the heart of a German family that breaks up, in the context of the inter-war period. Between political and social ideals, revenge and thirst for power, its members come to be torn apart in the course of the play, in a violent and profound evolution. Beyond the text, the staging combines video and music so powerful that it makes us uncomfortable, passive witnesses, and reveals a past reality that can echo our present in many ways.