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Correspondences – Evening of performance readings, Arles

On the occasion of the opening of the Persephone summer exhibition by artist-designer Jeanne Vicerial and photographer Leslie Moquin in Arles, the Foundation invites authors and artists to an evening of performance readings based on intimacy and the relationship with the body.
“Correspondences” is following on from a series of poetic events (Equinoxes) initiated by the Foundation from 2020, and publications by Editions Ishtar that mark the Foundation’s support and commitment to creative writing and contemporary poetry.


Sunday July 2, 5pm-7pm
Readings followed by a drink. With: Véronique Caye, Carole Douillard, Nathalie Guiot, Barbara Polla, Agnès Thurnauer and Sandra de Vivies.
By reservation only
34 rue de l’amphithéâtre 13200 Arles


Reading program

Agnès Thurnauer

Reading of a selection of 50 letters written by Agnès Thurnauer to Henri Matisse between April 2021 and January 2022, during the preparation of her exhibition at the Musée Matisse in Nice. The artist focuses in particular on the question of ‘states’ in Matisse’s work, and the discovery of the conceptual nature of his work. Agnès Thurnauer builds up her exhibition by turning to the Master day after day to support her own work.

Agnès Thurnauer (Paris, 1962) is a Franco-Swiss artist living and working in Paris. Through her paintings, sculptures and installations, she addresses the question of language. This plasticity of language is experimented with in three dimensions, with her sculptures composed of molds of letters at different scales, allowing the gaze and the body to become involved. Her work came to public attention with a monographic exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo in 2003. Since then, she has exhibited at the Centre Pompidou, the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Angers and Nantes, the Musée Matisse in Nice, and the Musée de l’Orangerie, as part of the commissioned-work Matrices Chromatiques. She regularly collaborates with writers, philosophers and poets on publications and artists’ books (Michèle Cohen-Halimi, Tiphaine Samoyault, Rod Mengham…).


Carole Douillard

Phenomenon Sontag

A fragmentary reading of the diaries of American author and intellectual Susan Sontag (1933-2004), Ed.Christian Bourgois.

After 5 months of intensive presence, between 2019 and 2022, in Sontag’s Papers, kept at UCLA, Los Angeles, Carole Douillard begins in Arles the restitutive adventure of her encounter with the sensitive and complex Susan. This first reading of the author’s diaries, published in 2006 by her son David Rieff, also sets the stage for Carole Douillard’s encounter with the vast Californian landscape, the physical and psychic setting for the dialogue she initiates with Susan Sontag, almost twenty years after her death.

Visual artist and performer, Carole Douillard uses her presence or that of performers as sculpture for minimal interventions in the exhibition space, complemented by documents, films, stories and photographs. For some years now, she has been interested in the question of archives, the conservation of memory and gesture over time. In 2022, she published Body Talks (Ed. Zero deux/Presses du Reel), an interview with art critic Amelia Jones and pioneering Californian feminist performance artists Barbara T Smith and Suzanne Lacy. Since 2019, she has been conducting research in Los Angeles (Sur mesure/Institut Français grant, Aide à la Création, DRAC Pays de la Loire), where she is developing new pieces linked to the life of American writer and essayist Susan Sontag (1933-2004).


Sandra de Vivies

Montage of extracts from La Femme du lac, a hybrid narrative between narration, poetry and images.

The text stems from the discovery of around a hundred negatives or black windows that act as clairvoyant supports, enabling the narrator to weave links between different women, different periods and different places, especially in Germany. The material, sensory writing unfolds in a rhizome where each fragment echoes another, brushing against it, sometimes bumping into it. The reading will seek to bring out the different voices and spatio-temporal variations, as well as the images that emerge.

The writing and research work of Sandra de Vivies (lives and works in Brussels) focuses on photosensitive narratives, at the crossroads of literature, the humanities and images. She has published various texts and photographs in magazines and collective works, as well as a first book initiated during her residency at the Jan Michalski Foundation, Vivaces (Editions La place, 2021). Her photographic works are regularly exhibited, articulated with text – printed, read or performed with the complicity of musician Xavier Dubois. A graduate of the “Lettres, Écopoétique et Création” master’s program at the University of Aix-Marseille, she is also associate programmer of the ecopoetics festival in Liège.


Véronique Caye

Les Magiciennes

Les Magiciennes is a performance reading inspired by the writings of the Syrian-Lebanese poet Adonis (1930 -). “C’est elle la magicienne” are the opening lines of the poem that starts his Lexique Amoureux. Adonis’ entire oeuvre is an ode to women, a magician who returns “her passions to her body” and invites us to love, freedom and poetry.

Extracts from :
Histoire qui se déchire sur le corps d’une femme Edition Mercure de France, Paris 2008
Lexique Amoureux, Poésie Gallimard, Editions Gallimard, Paris 2018

Véronique Caye is an artist, video-maker, photographer, writer and director. Through shows and videos, she develops a dramaturgy of the image where the poem always transcends the medium. Véronique Caye’s entire artistic enterprise revolves around one obsession: the vera icona, the “true image”, the image that becomes the true. Véronique Caye is the author of Vera Icona, Abécédaire de l’image scène and Le sujet Horizon Véronique Caye, by Paul Ardenne and Barbara Polla (both published in 2021 by Hématomes Editions, Liège).


Barbara Polla and Nathalie Guiot

Correspondence during a lockdown

When two women reveal their innermost selves. “Reading René Char’s correspondence with Albert Camus, I discover similarities with our own.  The line between us, the Barbara border that separates us, also connects us; our ages, our wounds, our loves, our writing experiences, the last time I spoke to you about my father’s death. Out of modesty, you didn’t answer me.

Barbara Polla is a doctor, author, gallery owner, curator and poet. She was director of research at INSERM in Paris from 1992 to 2001. She has held various political offices in Switzerland, including member of the national parliament. Her gallery, Analix Forever, was founded in 1991. In politics, art, feminism and life, Barbara Polla defends freedom. Writing is her way of expressing her thoughts. She was Professor of Creative and Critical Writing at HEAD from 2014 to 2016, and since 2007 has organized Poetry Nights in Geneva, Paris, Athens and Brussels, always in art venues.

Founder and President of the Fondation Thalie, Nathalie Guiot is the author of her first collection of poetry, Le premier jour de l’étincelle (éditions Ishtar, 2020), an editor and an exhibition curator. She founded Anabet Éditions (2000-2012), created Thalie Art Project, an association that produces artistic and performative encounters, now a foundation with an exhibition space, an art collection and an artists’ and writers’ residency. Nathalie Guiot is a member of the Cercle international and the Comité d’acquisition Design at the Centre Pompidou, a member of the Comité d’acquisition en Arts Visuels for the CNAP, a member of the selection committee for Art & Science residencies at the Tara Océan Foundation, and an active patron of cultural institutions in Belgium.