Nora Wagner

Le théâtre et son double

Curator Renée Kockelkorn introduced the art project “disturbing truths”, an exhibition
in the public space of a small town, with the following sentence: “If art doesn’t make politics, who does?”

Irritated by this statement, I reversed the sentence and claimed: “If politics don’t make art, who does?”

I then proposed to the whole organisation of the municipality to switch roles, in order for them to provide the artistic content, whereas I would propose the political procedure of my project.

First I organised artistic workshops for the municipal workers so they could design and build a series of three practical sculptures: creative letter boxes which were put in front of the municipality.

The inhabitants of the town were invited by post to write down their complaints, suggestions and wishes, and to put them in theses three letter boxes.

During the so called “collecting period”, I organised theatre workshops with and for the politicians, so that they could, once all the letters were collected, “enact” a decision taking meeting on stage, and publicly discuss the claims in front of the inhabitants.

Together we set up the rules of the game, and on the evening of the play, all the 53 letters which had been submitted were read out loud and discussed according to the protocol. They were divided in 5 chapters, which were interposed by interventions of a live performance by the musician Bertrand Dufau.

I was supported by Joëlle Schrank, a professional mediator and Fabrizio Leva, theatre director working with Augusto Boal’s processes, notably the “theatre of the oppressed”.

On stage, all 4 political parties were represented by one of its members, as well as an unoccupied chair inviting the public / inhabitants to take part in the discussion if they felt the urge to intervene.