Flying Circus Project 2009/2010 Platform 1



"I dare hope, nevertheless, that you will perceive behind the energy of my words, at least the motivation which allows artists to dream, all of a sudden, about a place.

I propose to mix all the tasks normally associated with a National Choreographic Centre and to shake them inside a framework both ancient and modern, a framework that would be funny and antiquated, dusty and exciting, a Museum with no equivalent in the world.  The whole activity of the place would be re-thought through a different prism, a prism that would be susceptible of assembling in only one movement the patrimonial and the spectacular, research and creation, education and fun, the opening to singular artists and the desire to produce a collective work.

For we have reached an exciting period where museography opens itself up to ways of thought and technologies which allow us to imagine something completely different from a mere exhibition of traces, faded costumes, models of stage settings, and scarce photographs of shows. We are at a time of history where a museum can be alive and lived in as much as a theatre is, can include a virtual space, offer a contact with dance that would be at the same time practical, esthetic and spectacular...

We are at a time of history where a museum can modify.  We can modify the idea one had of the museum AND the idea one had of dance. Because we haven't the slightest intention of making a dead museum, it will be a living museum of dance. The dead will have their place, but among the living.

In order to do so, it is first of all necessary to forget the image of a traditional museum, because our space is first a mental one. The strength of a museum of dance consists in great part in the fact that it does not exist yet. That it doesn't have a suitable place yet..., that the spirit of the place arrives before the place..., that everything remains to be done, and that the daily life of this building site allows all the audacities, and all the eccentricities."

Boris Charmatz
Manifesto for a National Choreographic Centre

First of all, a museum can "take place" every Saturday.
(A national choreographic Centre is also run like one runs a cabaret, a ball or a dance floor. Or also like one holds a siege. One can hold it against wind and tide because one is held up by some kind of faith.)
The museum would comprise and include the spectacle, because in our idea, the museum contains the dance studio, the theatre, the bar, the school, the exhibition, the library.

This museum on the move will be the Trojan horse of a radical broadening of the normal NCC's dance "production". The collective building site of a future Dancing Museum aims at transforming an institution into a symbolic space close to the epic: one must imagine a policy of provocative diffusion that will answer the necessity of radically broadening the number of people concerned. The Museum will not be content with merely "programming" events, but will be a way of giving life to a place, an audience, an adventure, and will become a place where one can go, like in the case of a museum, without knowing in advance the day's programme. A funny place for meeting with the studio, the dance hall, the show, the initiation in the strongest sense.
To not cut the matter short, ten commandments:
A micro-museum
but a real one: it fully takes up its museum tasks and upholds a balance between its various functions of conservation, creation, research, exhibition, diffusion, enhancement of public awareness, mediation, without neglecting any of them. Such an interdependence is what justifies the creation of a museal structure.
A museum of artists
searchers, collectors, exhibition commissioners take part in the museum's life, but above all it is the doing of artists who invent it by creating works. It is therefore an artistic project initiated by Boris Charmatz, but produced by numerous artists.
An eccentric museum
it intends to be an introduction, an appetizer, a place for enhancing public awareness of dance and choreographic culture in the broad sense, of history of the body and its representations.

However, it is not centred exclusively on choreographic art: it does not seek to establish a taxinomy of dance, its goal is not to offer a settled definition of the subject.  Its ideal isn't either to give an exhaustive representation of the different dances performed all around the world. It wishes to stimulate the desire for knowledge.
An incorporated museum
it can develop only provided that it is built by the bodies moving through it, those of the public, the artists, but also of the museum employees (attendants, technicians, administration staff, etc.), who activate the works, become actors themselves.
A provocative museum
it approaches dance and its history through a resolutely contemporary vision. It spends time questioning the ingenuous knowledge everyone has about dancing. It induces improbable linkings, confrontations between worlds usually far appart from one another. It questions the accepted opinions going round about dance... and therefore elsewhere in society.
A transgressive museum
it fully acknowledges the fact that its activity does not limit itself to the quest for and the representation of the "authentic" object; it encourages artists and visitors to take hold of the works, it stimulates plagiarism. Artistic creation and the visitor's experience are at the core of its action. Being a place of life, a social space for controversy, a place of talk and interpretation, it is not only a space of accumulation and representation.
A permeable museum
it defends the principle according to which the fact of opening oneself up to a broadened conception of dance, means to accept to be crossed by other movements, to extract oneself from a fixed identity. To open up to difference.
A museum of complex temporalities

it thinks both the ephemeral and the perennial, the experimental and the patrimonial. Active, reactive, mobile, it is a viral museum which can be grafted on other places, can spread dance in places where it was not expected. It is also a museum with a programme evolving by the rythm of seasons, able to settle down on beaches in the summer period or to propose a winter University...
A cooperative museum
it is independent, but works in connection with a network of partners, cooperates with institutions linked to dance (contemporary, classic and traditional, scholarly and popular), to museums, to art centres and galleries, to research centres and universities, and it sets itself under no circumstances against them. It builds deep relationships with individuals, whether they be artists of international fame like Mikhail Baryshnikov, Steve Paxton or William Forsythe, or passionate amateurs.
An immediate museum
it exists a soon as the first gesture has been performed.

Boris Charmatz
Written in Leipzig, Berlin, Vienne, Rennes, Vanves, Bruxelles, Montreuil, in the space of a few obstinate nights.

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