First showing 18 November 2017

Festival Democrazia del Corpo, Cango, Florence, Italy

Piece designed to be performed in off-stage spaces (outdoors and indoors)

During her trip to Canada in April 2017, Olivia Grandville met Quebec artist Françoise Sullivan, who was not only a painter and sculptor but also a dancer and choreographer. Sullivan, who joined the "Automatistes" movement in 1948, was also a signatory of the manifesto of Refus global, a foundational text of the Canadian political and artistic movement. For Olivia Grandville, who is passionate about the history of 20th-century avant-gardes, this encounter appeared as a serendipitous twist of fate and echoed all the work she did at Le Cabaret discrépant on Lettrism, a contemporary movement aligned with Refus global and sharing similar artistic concerns.

Françoise Sullivan is best known in the field of choreography for two creations that are among the first filmed choreographic works in the history of dance: Eté (1947) and Danse dans la neige (1948). These two plays were part of an unfinished project that was intended to cover the four seasons. The films were lost and all that remains today are seventeen black and white photos of Danse dans la neige. The irony of history choosing to render immortal the fragile trace of a spontaneous impulse.

Based on these seventeen static and fragmented testimonies, as well as the words of this ninety-six-year-old artist, transcribed by Olivia Grandville, the project Argentique is developed. To (re)give birth to movement in a manner much like a photographic revelation. To create a ghostly dance. To conjure up the memory of a dance in the present and reinvent it.

A counterpoint to À l'Ouest, Argentique is the second instalment following Olivia Grandville's research trip to Canada and the United States in spring 2016.




Conception and interpretation: Olivia Grandville
Texts and interviews: Olivia Grandville, Françoise Sullivan, Gilles Amalvi
Writing collaboration: Lucie Collardeau
Live music: Jonathan Kingsley Seilman


Production: Mille Plateaux, CCN La Rochelle

With the support of the City of Nantes and the French Institute, the TU-Nantes and le lieu unique, Nantes.