This new installment of Poésie Plate-forme begins like a collage with the juxtaposition of two very different experiences of work, logic and thought.
Art historian Judith Delfiner has studied the reception of Dadaism in the United States (East Coast and West Coast) in the late 1940s. Since the early 1980s, collective Grand Magasin-whose lineage is not performance or Dada theater-has been presenting humorous and subtle stagings and plays, starting from the horizons of expectation of the extremely contemporary, including social organizations.
Is Dada a reference like any other, then, perfectly recyclable even as it is only implicit, reusable like others in what would be a conceptual and artistic toolbox always available? And if not, what to do with this enduring causticity in an age where the least of our actions is institutionalized?
Judith Delfiner is an art historian and associate professor at the Université Pierre Mendès-France - Grenoble 2. Her works focuses on the relations between historic avant-gardes and experimental American art in the postwar period. She has published Double-Barrelled Gun: Dada aux Etats-Unis (1945-1957) (Les Presses du réel, 2011) and writes regularly for Les Cahiers du M.N.A.M. Her current research examines the work of California artist Jay DeFeo, which at the moment is the object of a retrospective at the Whitney Museum in New York.
Grand Magasin was founded in 1982 by Pascale Murtin and François Hiffler. Together they have created about forty irresistibly funny plays, numbers and performances, sometimes in collaboration with other artists. In their view, "in spite of, and thanks to an almost complete lack of knowledge about theater, dance and music, they put together the shows they would dream of attending." Some of their recent creations are Les Rois du suspense ("The kings of suspense," 2010), Bilan de compétences ("Skills assessment," 2012), La Dernière Semaine de juin ("The last week of June," 2012), 25 Chansons trop courtes et quelques-unes plus longues ("25 songs that are too short and a few longer ones," 2012), La Vie de Paolo Uccello (2013). A retrospective, Un catalogue de GRAND MAGASIN, was devoted to their work in 2013 by the Théâtre de la Cité Internationale in Paris.