robert © Fanny de Chaillé

Le Robert

A performance by Fanny de Chaillé
With Christophe Ives
Lights Caty Olive

Production Le Labo d’octobre – Nantes – October 2000


At the beginning, the object Le Robert is an obsession, when it comes to formalize the thought: return indefinitely to THE reference when it comes to finding the right words, the word.

My researches on the work of Bernard Heidsieck (his relation to orality), particularly the series of poems Derviche / Le Robert, are feeding this obsession. Le Robert never leaves me. When the research work is done, I decide at first to throw the damn dictionary away: not to hear about it, not to hear it speak again.

How to overcome this obsession? It is through the action of transformation that Le Robert takes another form: each page of the dictionary is coated with paraffin wax and this until the words and definitions are completely erased. By this action the dictionary loses its only function and gains in materiality, in breath.

This action is dissolved gradually into the sculptural form that the object takes: quickly it becomes essential, as a transparent, beautiful column…

As an aestheticized object, it cannot be reduced to this fascination. Starting from its specific purpose of being exposed, it becomes a subject on stage, which questions its representation. I intend to give him his orality back, to question its relationship to written language, its theatricality (the fight between Fried and Judd), to give it a body.

By the action of Christopher Ives, Le Robert is a performance.

Fanny de Chaillé