Cérémonie nationaliste, Rome, 2008

photo: Maryvonne Arnaud



A global collection of interrogations

Philippe Mouillon

The World-Studio project associates artists, poets and intellectuals of the whole world with the aim of collecting their doubts and questions on the contemporary world. From the simplest question to the most existential problem, this collection of doubts will be obtained in the course of workshops gathering guests who will react to original sound and visual layouts.

The aim is to create a circle of witnesses and interpreters of today’s world who can destabilise our Euro-Atlantic tropisms and expand our investigation of what is around us. These witnesses will come from all over the world and will approach the task with “the wound closest to the sun”: with that lucidity also known as the poetic. This is why we hope to work with philosophers and poets, but even more so with writers who are both.

The circle will vary according to individual availability, but we see physical coming together and verbal sharing as essential. These meetings could take place in France or elsewhere, depending on people’s freedom of movement. More like recordings for the radio than a colloquium, the workshops will be part of the work and visual projects will be made available.

By way of clarifying our aim we could use the blackbird metaphor mentioned in Milan Kundera’s Book of Laughter and Forgetting: we always, Kundera says, fail to perceive crucial mutations because our absorption in everyday trivia blinds us to what is really happening.

Continuing over a number of years, the workshop will produce an infinite capitalisation of speculation: it will approach our everyday lives across the board, from their most bafflingly existential and elusive aspects to the most simple, joyful or poetic ones. This is what children do naturally when they raise the most complex issues of existence in a way that undercuts adult certainties.

Thus a worldwide harvest of doubt will generate a state of unrest, upsetting and revivifying the standard views of the world and linking them to earlier forms as a way of anticipating forms to come. Our goal, then, is to make visible the logical lacunae of our time, the weaknesses of the dominant representations and interpretations of a slippery reality that is never where we look for it, and never in the form we expect.

This ongoing programme will be made public, regularly and in dynamic multimedia ways, and especially in the different cities around the world where the workshops take place. The resultant condensations will integrate with local possibilities in terms of actively seeking out new audiences and setting up a fresh public arena for discussion and interchange.



Atelier-Monde #4

Philippe Mouillon

21 October 2011