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Equinoxes: Joy!

The Foundation brings together poets, writers and musicians for an evening of poetic readings through pictures and music on the theme of joy.

Curating: Barbara Polla


Joy is a serious matter.

It is not about joy, no.

Nor is it about what is called happiness, a term constantly misused by the prescribers of well-being.

May my joy remain.

A man gets up early to go and plough an acre of land. It is still dark, man gets ready, leaves his house, finds himself under the cosmic vault. Joy is the awareness of this position. Of the importance of ploughing, of being that ploughman and, at the same time, the awareness of the disproportionate relationship between the minuscule size of the field and the infinity of the cosmos. At the same time.

There is in joy an element of self-assertion. Of oneself and of others. Being oneself in the world. Dissolving in the world. Letting love and fear in. For joy is also fear, it is often too great for us, it swallows us up. Joy contains something unknown, destabilising and at the same time it places us deeply in the world. Joy makes us light. It is never superficial: it is from its depth that our lightness flows. With it we can dance. Turn to madness. To sing. Watching a child being born. To write. To be, together.

May my joy remain.

And let poetry say it.

Barbara Polla, January 2021.

Guest readers: Atsoupé, Nathalie Guiot, Hsin-yun Tsai, Mélanie Leblanc, JiSun Lee, Olivier Liron, Fabrice Melquiot, Eugénie Paultre, Elodie Perrelet, Aude Polito, Barbara Polla, Joana Preiss, Ruppert Pupkin, Curtis Santiago, Fanny Sintès, Xavier Veilhan.


Reading list

1) Curtis Santiago

Curtis Santiago is first and foremost a multi-prime music star of the band The Hi-Phoniqs. Then he decided to stop playing music – too much money at stake – he just wanted to sing for people – and he started doing “things”. He quickly became a star in the contemporary art scene with a solo show at the Drawing Center in New York last year. He sees art, above all, as a formula for writing about the contemporary world. For us tonight, for Joy, for poetry and for life, exceptionally, he will sing again.
Curtis Santiago is my King.

2) Eugénie Paultre

Eugénie Paultre is a painter and poet. Her friend Etel Adnan, who is also a painter and poet, says about her that « as some rivers majestically crossing some deserts, love runs through her texts, a diffuse love touching everything that is, transforming every human being or object into an icon related to the sacred. » Eugénie Paultre is going to read us an excerpt from Hiver, one of those magnificent little big books about life – about life, she says, and about its infinite and mysterious face. Dance that marries music. Of the impulse, body and soul, to the great inner heights… Joy!

3) JiSun Lee

JiSun Lee was born in 1989 in Seoul, South Korea and now lives and works in Paris. After studying art at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Art de Dijon, she obtained the Diplôme National d’Arts Plastiques in 2011 and the Diplôme National Supérieur d’Expressions Plastiques in 2013 with the congratulations of the jury. As a multimedia artist, she practices video, drawing, animation, photography, music but she writes too. She is going to read L’Éloge des (plus) petites choses — 작은게 좋아 — that she wrote especially for our Joy. In French and Korean.

4) Hsin-yun Tsai

Hsin-yun Tsai is our unexpected reader, born in Taiwan. Like JiSun Lee, she will read in her two languages, in French and Mandarin. She lives and works in Paris and is a doctoral student at the Sorbonne School of Arts. Her work is based on philosophy and literature. By associating the intimate, the outside and the environment, her creations are written, and her artistic language facilitates the connections between inside and outside, from which came up the book “Dictionnaire des relations”. She is going to read us: Si je me réincarnais …, a poem written by the writer Sanmao (1943-1991), whose sensitivity and freedom are still relevant today.

5) Atsoupé

Born in 1986 in Togo, Atsoupé spent her childhood in 6 African countries: Burundi, Kenya, Zaire, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Togo. In France now, she is a graduate of ENSBA, where she worked in François Boirond’s workshop. She lives in Paris, where she works with, among others, Anne de Villepoix. She paints, she says, to remember her childhood. “The more I paint, the more I create, the more I remember. “she says. I read Atsoupé’s poems for the first time a few years ago and I had already told her that they should be published. She wrote Réflexion sur la joie specially for us. She likes the idea of putting magic into the sadness of existence. Joy!

6) Elodie Perrelet

Elodie Perrelet was born in Geneva in 1984. After studying Educational Sciences, she taught at the University of Social Work and became a bookseller. She trained at Aleph-écriture in Paris and obtained a certificate as a writing workshop leader. Fascinated by language, she discovers, thanks to the Compagnie des mots, the unpublished richness of French-speaking literature, which fascinates her. She created “La vie ardente”, a website of passionate interviews. Tonight she will ask us, Irons nous danser ?

7) Fabrice Melquiot

When I think of Fabrice Melquiot, it seems to me that I am a larva. You know, a larva, someone who does nothing, who is always lazy. Fabrice Melquiot is an actor, writer, director, poet, he created the Literary Balls and has directed more than 500 of them, he manages a theatre for children of all ages to whom he knows how to talk, he gives to Charlotte Rampling a role, he has written more than 60 plays, he is soon to leave for Portugal, he writes a novel, he has received a great number of prizes, he is a great friend and he wrote specially for us Stéganographie. We won’t hide our joy!

8) Ruppert Pupkin

Emmanuelle Destremau/Ruppert Pupkin is an actress, director, author, composer and singer. She directed creative documentaries and then created the group RUPPERT PUPKIN. Navigating between the cinema and theatre sets, she is the author of about fifteen plays. She takes part in Fabrice Melquiot’s literary balls and has just published Border Ghosts with Quartett. When I told her the theme, she said: I’ll have to scrape to get by Joy ! She found – for her, Toutes les nuits c’est l’Amour pur... and she will sing: Stay!

9) Nathalie Guiot

Nathalie Guiot is the Fairy of the Equinoxes and suggested the theme of Joy. She is fundamentally joyful and she believes that we need joy. A joy that she shares around ecological hope, the earth, books, poetry, friendships, art… And she will read Incandescence.

10) Joana Preiss

Joana Preiss is a theatre and film actress, singer, performer and director. She began her career as an actress in the theatre in 1992 in Pascal Rambert’s shows, then with Eléonore Weber. At the same time, she collaborates with artists such as Nan Goldin, Céleste Boursier-Mougenot and Ugo Rondinone. Her film career began in 1997 with Olivier Assayas and Christophe Honoré. As a singer, she creates unique performances favouring improvisation and using her voice as an instrument. She regularly gives public readings of poetic works and is a fan of our Equinoxes. Joy!

11) Olivier Liron

Olivier Liron is a poet and writer, and he has won many “Questions pour un Champion”, he doesn’t remember if it’s 8 or 10… He has just spent 10 days in a writing residency at Analix Forever, the Barbarie gallery as he calls it, working on his next book, on music and joy. Olivier has a sense of joy because he has a sense of sadness, as he says… joy and sadness, together, create intensity. His text, specially written on the thread of joy, will speak to us of intensity. It is called… et moi j’avais au coeur un pays fragile

12) Mélanie Leblanc

Mélanie Leblanc is a teacher and poet. She is interested in the links between poetry and music, visual arts and cinema. How to make poems and poets visible and audible? How to connect us? If not through the links that poetry creates, how to connect with the other. To connect the intimate and the universal, she writes. She has published several collections of poetry, notably with Cheyne, she translates poems as well, contributes to journals and anthologies and gives readings in words and music. When I asked Olivier Liron to suggest names for Joy, he replied: an obvious one, Mélanie Leblanc. She is going to read us extracts from a forthcoming book, entitled Le labyrinthe des jours.

13) Fanny Sintès

Fanny Sintès is an actress, circus performer and director, notably of Neige, another link with Olivier Liron. Tonight she is going to read us a letter from Laurène Marx, a trans writer, who published Transe, and soon Pour un temps soit peu at the Lynceus Festival Theatre Editions, which Fanny co-directs. When Fanny asked Laurène to write to her about joy, Laurène replied with a personal and intimate letter, which Fanny will share with us. An exceptional eight minutes reading.

14) Aude Polito

Aude Polito is the youngest of our poetic night, she is not yet 30 years old, yet she has already studied art history, political science and anthropology in Switzerland and Italy at the Università la Sapienza in Rome. She has specialised in the anthropology of art and is currently a research assistant at the Museum of Ethnography in Geneva. I met her for the first time during one of my readings of erotic poems. She is interested in collecting testimonies of human and non-human life through contemporary ethnographic, documentary and poetic practices. Perhaps she thought I was non-human… She will read a text entitled Synergie. Joy!

15) Xavier Veilhan

Xavier Veilhan has been developing since the end of the 1980s an approach with multiple forms (sculpture, painting, environment, performance, video, photo) between formal classicism and high technology. He is one of France’s most brilliant artists, who cultivates an interest in wandering spaces, often evolving, in which the visitor becomes an actor and questions his perceptions. I had the great joy of showing Xavier Veilhan at Analix Forever in the mid-1990s and the even greater joy of seeing him again recently in his studio in the street Fernand Léger, a studio like a ship that would cross the world, from Paris to Tokyo. And the visitor that I was became an actor – and Xavier Veilhan will read Rue Fernand Léger.

16) Barbara Polla

Barbara Polla is delighted to have prepared this Reading list.
Nous avons rendez-vous. Joy!