'' Bonjour Beau, Bonsoir Brummel/ Bongo Ba, Bonsai Brahma | A history of performance art on the Riviera from 1951 until now

Bonjour Beau, Bonsoir Brummel/ Bongo Ba, Bonsai Brahma

David Medalla
David Medalla
Bibliographical sources: 
in catalogue Attention Peinture Fraîche III, 1983
fascicule, 1 page recto verso
Bonjour Beau, Bonsoir Brummel/ Bongo Ba, Bonsai Brahma is the title bringing together these two performances, the first of which was a solo performance and the second of which was a series of improvisations with the participation of Isabelle Leygoute and Manuel Taraio. Each piece was self-sufficient, but they inter-penetrated as meditations on space and time. The initial pretext was the life of Englishman Beau Brummel, who invented dandyism, and inspired Baudelaire’s concept of the wanderer. Dandyism as it was practiced by the aristocratic officers of the English army during the war, also indirectly influenced the behavior of Madrid “majos” during Goya’s time. In my performances, I don't follow a narrow documentary method; I mostly use musical, poetic, plastic and visual means to express a few enigmatic events. I would like to create a nearly invisible veil of dreams for the audience (...) it's easy to moralize and condemn the dandy as being a useless human being. I think that dandyism, as Beau Brummel has shown us, is one of the expressions of man's dream of freedom, at a time when cities were beginning to grow, becoming huge metropolises powered by the first industrial revolution. Perhaps in the end this dream of freedom is only an illusion. Nonetheless, it is what gives the human being dignity in the face of existence. I've been interested in all the manifestations of this dream throughout the history of the world. In my past performances, I examined the different ways in which this dream was expressed; for example in the series called “Tatlin at Malevitch’s funeral”, presented in 1976 at the Fitzrovia cultural center in London and at Kettle’s Yard Gallery in Cambridge, or those that I created in collaboration with the Catalan artist Oriol de Quadras: “Magellan and circumnavigating around the world", presented at the Institute of contemporary arts in Hill House (Berkeley Square), at the Birmingham Arts Lab in England. Dandyism is only a minor manifestation of this dream of freedom. Still I think it deserves to be fêted, and to be dedicated a small nostalgic sigh. For this reason, I subtitled these two synoptic-realistic performances: Eulogy/Elegy for the Dandyism David Cortes de Medalla.