'' Beuil summer of 81 | A history of performance art on the Riviera from 1951 until now

Beuil summer of 81

Beuil été 81
Jean-Claude Bussi
Jean-Claude Bussi
Theoretical background: 


At first our series of events will seem to be "dispersed", but not only will they be investigating the creative experience, they will also be contributing to the coherence of the group and to the integration of outside individuals to the event itself, and to the establishment of a stronger relation with the "village -- audience" more efficiently than an occasional entertainment would.

Examples of events:

-events in houses, courtyards, alleyways

-working on colors, architecture, legends and history

-late afternoon mini celebrations

-on site shows, in the village

-working outside the village (contributions by visual artists in the context of a "reappropriation of a site" –Célébral n°2

-contacting neighboring villages for information

-contributing ideas - events concerning the study on “the role of the walls”
The Théâtre Exposé and Célébral are part of an important movement created around and by the CRIA (Center for Artistic Research and Interventions) in Nice approximately from 1975 to 1985.

The CRIA produced an impressive number of shows and events in institutions (schools and hospitals), and participated in a great many social movements.

We must remember that the social climate was rather favorable to this sort of creation. These two types of creation were also inspired by an idea expressed by J.-C. Bussi, founder of the CRIA and creator of the Théâtre-Exposé and Célébral : «There is something inside each one of us which resists alienation ».

Generally performances by modern visual artists strive to belong to a history of contemporary art, which has been a fantasy ever since Duchamp initiated the process (this is my opinion...). Therefore performances are often photographed, filmed, dated, included in catalogs in order to appear in the artist’s curriculum and in his/her book.

Our attempts included none of this. They were produced with "bare hands" , in an improvisational spirit always akin to chaos, a sort of theatrical free jazz, directed only by the introspection of the actors, and completely safe in the company of the various subjectivities which the context brought together.

Basic criteria:

Between 6 and 12 executants “juxtaposed “in the same action space, each executant being closed off inside his/her own imagination and conversing with it and acting out situations.
the Théâtre Exposé is indoors, and lasts a limited time.

the Célébral is outdoors, and can last anywhere from three hours to two days.

Inter-acting between the executants is not recommended.

The dramatic progression is usually silent, without a text, based on the objects, costumes, situations, corporal and postural events; the main reference however is theatrical rather than visual. The 1960s happening is a reference, stripped of its provocative aspect.

The vocabulary, the figures and styles, as well as the imagery, are a bit archaic, and there are no signs of modernity. Like slapdash rituals more or less thrown together, never to be completed.

The goal is an expressive self exhibition, usually without an audience.
Here one might quote J.-C. Bussi : « In this epic poem facing the sun, he is exhibiting the movements of his thoughts in a microscopic universe that he himself has established."

Several events in this style were produced between 1978 and 1983; here is the list:

Théâtre Exposé MJC Gorbella 1978
Masques (Masks) Valbonne chez Émile de la Tour 1979
Les Valises (Suitcases) Sainte Marguerite Nice 1979
Les Objets de la Félicité (Objects of Happiness) Beuil mountain 1980
Interventions (sans titre) (Interventions (Untitled)) Beuil village 1981
Célébral Sanguinière Esteng forest 1982
Célébral Mont Agel 1983

[Text written in 2012, Editor’s note]

Méthodologie de la recherche

Technique description référence: 
Méthodologie de la recherche

<em>Ardoise n° 65</em>, intention et déroulé de la manifestation

Technique description référence: 
<em>Ardoise n° 65</em>, intention et déroulé de la manifestation
Jean-Claude Bussi par Catherine Delserre et Philippe Chartron | Sans titre, Beuil été 81
: Slate N°65 – CRIA
BEUIL summer of 81

« inauguration » of the CRIA week

So from August 1 to August 9, a dozen artists will be in Beuil (a small village in the mountains above Nice) , along with last minute participants in order to put together this week of artistic creation. The experiment is off to a good start and will most certainly prove to be very rich -- even though the national Mercantour Park seems to want to withdraw its financial support at the last minute (no comment!).

Like last year we will create a celebration bringing together performances and daily life, in relation to the site, to the population, the architecture, local life... a harmonious mix of the familiar and the esoteric. Below is an idea of the program (public events that have been previously “announced” are underlined)

-arrival on Saturday evening. A concert by a German orchestra (nothing to do with us)

-Sunday at noon meeting of the team, preparing the place for the first event:

-6 PM a theatrical “inauguration” by the mayor of the week, with photographs taken etc.

9:30 PM screening of last summer's pictures

-Monday 9 PM music below the villagers’ windows (us, and the A.M.E. trio plus Yves)

Earlier in the day, beginning of: creative work with the children, theatrical photography, characters.

Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday, CÉLÉBRAL II on the Beuil mountain. I suggest continuing last summer's research, which is: the birth of a celebration in the middle of nature. This time participants will have three days to enjoy the place and to leave "traces" of their passage.

Thursday 9 PM the CRIA jam session, which means that we show each other what we have discovered: pictures, sounds, characters etc. We show our report on the Célébral II (or on Friday).

Saturday 9 PM the party. A theatrical ball, we dance, and look on... Sunday noon, lunch with...?

This event in Beuil should enable the CRIA to balance its budget. It will be hard, but... in September we should be able to return to a healthy situation: poor, but without debts! When will the authorities understand that we are the cultural organization of the future?? Anyway.

Reminder: the educational subsidy should come in soon, Anne Lacour has the check to reimburse our expenses. The Ministry of culture is finally giving the CRIA a subsidy: 30 000 Francs. The season 1981/1982 will begin by a series of meetings and reflections (amongst ourselves).
all my best to all