Éric Duyckaerts
Joseph Mouton
Éric Duyckaerts
Joseph Mouton

Carton d'invitation

Technique description référence: 
Carton d'invitation
Éric Duyckaerts, Joseph Mouton | trace de la performance "Catamnésie", 2003 | © Eric Duyckaerts | courtesy de l'artiste
Joseph Mouton pour Éric Duyckaerts et lui-même | Catamnésie, 2003
Described as a “dialogue,” the performance took its theme from a song by Jeanne Moreau, “J’me souviens plus très bien” (‘I don’t remember very well’) and squared it: “J’me souviens plus très bien de ‘J’me souviens plus très bien’.” The same principle was applied to other monuments of popular or assimilated culture. For example, Joseph would ask Éric if he remembered the source of a story that begins, “A man wakes up one morning, he gets his coffee as usual—with a croissant or something—but this time he dunks his croissant or whatever into his coffee, takes the first bite, and all of a sudden, ‘everything comes back to him’; he remembers all these things, even more than he can describe…” And they would discuss the origin of this cultural memory in which the name Marcel kept popping up, probably the name of the author of the story, which obviously didn’t take place at breakfast time, but more likely at snack time. The shared memories were interspersed with farcical demonstrations: notably, the performers chatted or sang in armchairs placed in front of French doors—outside, since the weather happened to be very mild for a December afternoon—and used the glass of the doors like a blackboard on which they wrote their formulas and key words in white marker. “What is a dialogue?” the dialoguers would ask at the beginning of their dialogue, and went on enjoying word play with the French language. It is a “causerie,” a “cause-rie” (‘cause to laugh’ or ‘laughing cause’), so why not a “cause-sourie” (‘smiling cause’)? After all, a cause that is its own cause is a causa sui—“causa souRit” without the R.FARIVANK1979_SANS_PERF
Talking about my performances with Joseph Mouton only in the context of the Riviera is a bit difficult. It is too much for my memory to try and explicit the outlines, details, and anecdotes of the three performances mentioned here. Concerning the Riviera: Joseph's presence here was a conclusive element in my decision to move to Nice in 2001. The other good reasons I had elaborated for coming to Nice all fell apart, but not this one: Joseph's friendship remains essential in my way of trying to look at things. Our first performance, at the Villa Caméline, is a distant memory: a very good one. The beautiful winter sun in the garden, comfortable chairs, problems with the sound, laughter, etc. An excellent welcome by Cédric Teisseire and the whole team of La Station, not to mention the hostess, Hélène Fincker. It might be worth examining this feeling that Joseph and I had of an immediate understanding. We were both a bit worried for our first performance together. I had never collaborated in this kind of exercise either. Therefore, as we found out later, we had both done much more preparation than we needed to. Today, I can claim that Joseph is a very preparing person. He likes to have a well outlined conduct. As for me, I willingly accept his directions, and I enter them with an educated naïveté. As for the songs -- all by Joseph -- and there are always many, I also enter them like a singer both shy and self-assured. Our colleague Christian Bertoux, who knows what he's talking about, said that our roles were obvious: the whiteface clown and the Auguste. It is true that I am serious and that Joseph has no qualms about playing the fool. But I lack the traditionally authoritarian character of the whiteface clown, whereas the most serious propositions have often come from my friend, including in his songs. A powerful stimulus during these performances was Joseph's use of the word "we". “We feel, Eric and I..." Generally speaking, I always have to make an effort to accept a “we” in public reunions. It feels to me like a coup de force, a military putsch, something politically unacceptable. Who is the we that Joseph elicits when he is working with me? A quoted we. With Joseph, and with our jokes, this we is what I wish it could always be. The we invented by Joseph is now at work in the Straubismes. But that, as Kipling would say, is another story.