In this exchange the acclaimed and prolific author Helene Cixous discusses the practice of writing – considering fiction, theatre, the essay and poetry – alongside its relation to painting, music and philosophy. As the dialogue with Adrian Heathfield 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’.
Recorded in Cixous’ home in Paris, the conversation is punctuated by various interruptions and affinities (animal and familial) that are taken into the movement of her 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.
“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 by Hugo Glendinning.
Design by David Caines.
Performance Matters, 2011, PAL-DVD, 57 minutes.
Package contains booklet with text.
Part of the Crossovers series of artists’ films, documentaries and dialogues reflecting the potential of marginal artforms and intense ideas within popular media. A set of the five current Crossovers DVDs can be purchased at a special price of only £50 here .