Performance Matters, PAL-DVD, Region 2, 57 mins
Direction, Camera and Editing by Hugo Glendinning. Design by David Caines.
In an exchange recorded in Hélène Cixous’ home in Paris, the acclaimed and prolific author discusses the practice of writing – considering fiction, theatre, the essay and poetry – alongside its relation to painting, music and philosophy.
As the dialogue evolves, writing emerges as a site and instrument for encounters with other voices and otherness, mortality and mystery, the infinite and the ‘not yet thought’. Cixous’ discourse flies between subjects as diverse as the song of the poetic, the temporality of invention, the re-thinking of the tragic, and the word becoming flesh and air in theatre.
Hélène Cixous’ experiments in writing, including the development of ‘l’écriture feminine’ for which she is renowned, have had a wide-ranging influence on the fields of cultural theory, feminism, philosophy, literary criticism and theatre practice. She is Professor Emerita of English Literature and Women’s Studies at the Université Paris 8 and Andrew D. White Professor at Large at Cornell University, New York.
“Capturing thought in the moving image is notoriously difficult. To witness thinking itself is to make something very different from the standard ‘in conversation’, however acclaimed the speaker. Performance Dialogues face this challenge head-on. A series really without precedent, it seeks to present ideas in action, as they unfold in the key sites of their hugely influential protagonists – city apartment, house-museum, contested street. Poised between intellectual narrative and place-work, each film finds a distinctive style and a language suitable to its subject, while remaining always engaged, empathetic and concerned, finally, with the most pressing business: how to live in such times.”
Gareth Evans, Film Curator, 2013
Direction, Camera and Editing: Hugo Glendinning.
Contains booklet with transcribed text.
Performance Matters, 2011, DVD, 57 mins.
Part of the Crossovers series of artists’ films, documentaries and dialogues reflecting the potential of marginal artforms and intense ideas within popular media.