A new page which works as a personal workshop/studio for drawing experiments. Meanwhile drawing painting and writing projects take shape, be it through magazines, collective workshops, online gallery.
Une nouvelle page qui fonctionne comme un atelier pour des expériences de dessin. Dans le même temps, les projets de dessins peinture et d'écriture prennent forme, que ce soit à travers des revues, des workshops, une galerie en ligne.
Turtle Island, I recently discovered in my readings, used to being the name given by native Americans – more precisely Iroquois- to what is now called North America.
According to Iroquois oral history Sky woman fell down to the earth when it was covered with water. Various animals tried to swim to the bottom of the ocean to bring back dirt to create land. Muskrat succeeded in gathering dirt, which was placed on the back of a turtle, which grew in the land known today as North America.
As I was about to go on a residency freshly launched by friends in Greece, I was told the key topic would be « the limits of the state ».
Turtle Island seemed to be a very relevant way of approaching the reflexion. A reflexion that would not be one, that would present itself in the guise of fiction. But fiction is the one thing that makes us think (without believing we hold the truth), I believe.
Everything made sense, suddenly. The story started to find its characters and narration components.
America, where I have been recently and where I will go soon again,
(talking now of the United States), actually is Turtle Island. This is not a discovery in terms of oral stories, but it is a pretty great way for a character like Don Quijote to bump into reality again. So what if Don Quijote decides to look for Turtle Island ? He will never find it, but he will for sure show us some of its fantasies. Or he will find it, and present us a land which real features can endorse mythical or utopian ones. The USA will always be Turtle Island, at the end – even though most of us forgot about it.
This is how reality and fiction bump into each other again. This is how fiction affects reality, in a joyful movement.
Don Quijote is bored with his being a man. He can be Donna Quixote.
Another matter of happiness.
There are other components to the story. Actually there are many and I can’t recall them all. It has been a long time since I use the Don Quijote character as a metaphor for wander and utopia. The intertext doesn’t reduce itself to Cervantès’novel.
When in Saint Louis, Missouri, I started researching on the Cadillac’s symbol and name. Saint Louis used to being part of Louisiana (which was huge at the beginning of the 19th century and covered the country from North to South). Its governor, at one point, happened to be Antoine Laumet de Cadillac. The story of that guy is fascinating to me as it is about identity shift entwined with America’s colonization history.
Antoine Laumet was born in France. Like many immigrants he took advantage of emigrating to the New World to create a new identity, perhaps to conceal the reasons that drove him from France.
Laumet created a new name, identity and noble origin, while protecting himself from possible recognition by persons who knew him in France. He became Antoine Laumet de Cadillac.
It was common for adventurous Frenchmen emigrating to the new world in these days to usurp the noble title and armorial bearings of true noblemen.
In adition to being a governor of Louisiana, Antoine Laumet was the founder of Detroit. That is how, later on, at the beginning of the 20th Century, a Detroit car company named itself in honor of the founder of the city.
Now. What if Donna Quixote’s armorial is inspired by the Cadillac one. And what about a vehicle that unites these two fictions, made out of realities. What about making that happen on Turtle Island.
Behind the Scenes of the Sea Theater
Premiered March 2014 at the Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, followed by a presentation at WIELS, Brussels. April 2014 at Cooper Union, New York, and Haverford College, Philadlephia. November 2014 at NYU, English and Drama department.