Extreme and obscene
Since its release on September 9th, 1970, Eden, Eden, Eden has provoked scandal, fascination, admiration. Deemed a “Saharian fiction”, it was the work of a thirty-year old author. It came out with forewords by Michel Leiris, Roland Barthes, Philippe Sollers, and was immediately praised by Michel Foucault ; upon being censored, it gained immediate international support by the likes of Pasolini and Beuys.
Fifty years later, the work of Pierre Guyotat – who passed away on February 7th of this year – exerts an ever-growing impact and Eden, Eden, Eden has proven to be prescient of a world on the verge of transformation, through violence, sexuality, decolonization, cosmology: the endpoint of colonial history as well as the starting point of a new history, for language, history, for the past and the future.
Celebration around the world
In order to celebrate this work on its anniversary day – September 9th, 2020 – fifty readings in fifty venues in France and over the world were organized. Given the current health crisis, these readings will likely held in private as well as in public. Either way, they were be recorded and streamed by partner institutions on their platforms and ultimately gathered on an upcoming website. Each case in each venue will be different and will lead to a different reading for the venue’s specific audience, whether physically present and/or online.
Confirmed partners to this day include : Festival d’Avignon ; Centre Pompidou-Metz ; Fondation Azzedine Alaïa, Paris ; Museo Nacional Centre de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid ; Cabinet, London ; diaphanes, Berlin ; Museu Serralves, Porto ;Garage, Moscow; Stony Island Bank, Chicago ; Artists’ Space, New York.
Readings could take place in French, in the languages of existing translations (English, German, Spanish, Dutch, Russian…) or provide an opportunity for new translations.
Eden, Eden, Eden in India
With the help of the French Institute in India, Monica Singh has begun translating Eden, Eden, Eden in Hindi. Niranjani Iyer shared her voice and her emotions to bring the text to life in Hindi.
First trained in classical dance and singing in South India, Niranjani Iyer continued her training in Paris in many areas of theatre practice – mask, clown, movement, puppets. A former student of the Jacques Lecoq School and graduate in theatre studies from the Sorbonne, Niranjani Iyer is the artistic director of the Pocket Company, director and founder of the d.r.i.f.t festival in the Himalayas and guest teacher at the National School of Drama in Delhi. Dancer, actress, choreographer and director, she works between Paris, Delhi and Dharamshala.
The Pocket Company:
Created in 2010, the Pocket Company works for a more collective, inclusive and resistant theatre practice, outside the spaces usually dedicated to this Art. The demand for accessibility, the questioning of theatrical practices and dialogue are at the heart of each of its creations.
In recent years, the Pocket Company has led several interactive theatre projects – as part of the Racinailes festival in Paris or in the streets of Delhi: Gender Ventions, Framing Spaces – and created a festival of community theatre – d.r.i.f.t – in the Himalayas.
The text of Eden, Eden, Eden:
“The hallucinatory power and spirit of Eden, Eden, Eden first swept me away, stunned me. The violence, the crudeness, and the implacable precision of Guyotat’s evocations confer an extreme austerity on this text which nevertheless plunges us into History, that of wars, of the exploitation and oppression of bodies – first and foremost that of women – through which human beings unleash their animalistic nature.
With Eden, Eden, Eden, Guyotat engages us in the questioning of History as much as in a haunting vision that aims to bear witness, to heal. The text of the novel gives this historical space an “absolute” aspect that resonance in other languages can only reinforce. Eden, Eden, Eden thus casts before our eyes the oppression, the possession of bodies as it exists in the present.”
Her collaborators on the project (in alphabetical order):
Agni Akkitham: Sound
Alia Sinha: Graphics
Anne Ferroud: Music
Charlotte Andres: Coach
Laurent Bieche: Production
Niranjani Iyer: Conception, performance, and execution
Pierre-Alexis de Potestad: Camera