May 17, 2014 20:30
a collaboration between Fondazione Fabbrica Europa and Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
“Each person’s history unfolds through the need to be recognized, and recognized without reservation. Friendship demonstrates this infinite capacity for recognition. We must realize that others always have this need, that they are in thrall to its demands and just like ourselves, bent on receiving satisfaction; that they are consumed by it, that they are like wild animals, that life is hell when that satisfaction is not forthcoming, when it is lacking. The path of recognition seems infinite. We take a couple steps and hesitate since “we-can’t-do-everything”; but only petty cynicism would justify stepping away from such a task.” (Robert Antelme: Principles put to the test, article published July 14th 1958 in the magazine “Le 14 juillet” created by Dionys Mascolo and Jean Schuster reprinted in “Robert Antelme – unpublished texts on “L’espèce humaine” / The Human Race, essays and Commentary – Gallimard publishers)
This fragment of a text by Robert Antelme inspired us in our work to give place and attention to anonymous or recognizable faces which, emerging, capture our eyes with a strangeness of perception, not instantaneously intelligible.
It’s a work about listening, hearing these faces speak of their absent bodies, precisely or confusedly, a particular story worn by these mute faces that forever slip away from us. They speak of a place Jean-Luc Nancy (Penser l’image, Paris, Les Presses du réel, 2010) calls “the spoken lack of words”, a place “from before or after the word”1
Which irreducible mysteries hide behind this constellation of sensations we acquire when we meet up with the other? From the other’s face? An epiphany overflowing with expression, thereby revealing the invisibility of a singular individual standing there before us.