May 4 to May 11
April 27 to May 4
Assan S. is an artist. Assan is like a brother for me. Assan had an accident and was amputated six months ago. My mother is my mother. My mother is a virus survivor. Assan makes today his first exhibition at the Invalides, in Paris. In this precise place, his first exhibition since losing his leg. I see him for the first time with his prosthesis, there, at the Invalides. He’s the one supporting my mother, he’s the one missing a leg. This is the best life lesson that I can receive. The sense of Care.
April 20 to April 27
April 13 to April 20
Testament song by Violeta Parra, chilean artist who committed suicide in 1967 at the age of forty-nine. First South American artist to exhibit at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris. Song of shared life with charango, a five-string guitar. Brief passage of life. May the passage of LA VIDA on the Seine, accompanied by sand and black birds, be a sign from her.
April 6 to April 13
I grow my salads while waiting you grow your salads while waiting he/she grows his/her salads while waiting we grow our salads while waiting you grow your salads while waiting they grow their salads while waiting i conjugate the present with the future
March 30 to April 6
455 days later, Wuhan. January 2021: this image is part of the collection of haunting images that fill my Venetian Plague Doctor mask. I wear it from time to time to look at the horizon through my porthole and give it the power to predict future or call memory. We are the day of the exit from Egypt. How not to think about the ten plagues? So that the people of Israel can leave Egypt, God inflicts ten punishments or plagues, to convince Pharaoh to let them go. The waters of the Nile turn to blood; the frogs fall from the sky; soil dust turns into lice; horseflies fly; the herds die; men and animals are covered with boils and pustules; hail falls and turns into fire; locusts cover the entire surface of the Earth, eat plants and fruits and plunge the world into darkness; darkness; the death of the firstborn.
March 23 to March 30
March 16 to March 23
French slang calls the female sex a mussel. The word mussel comes from the Latin Musculus, the shell, just as much as from Modulus, the measure. No doubt we are made of this double nature, a shell that protects us and a measure of ourselves on the edge of our skin.
March 2 to March 9
“And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads and hanging them
With deafening clamour in the slippery clouds,
That, with the hurly, death itself awakes?
Canst thou, O partial sleep, give thy repose
To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude,
And in the calmest and most stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king? Then happy low, lie down!
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”
William Shakespeare – King Richard IV.
February 23 to March 2
I went to Syria for the first scouting in 2005, then a second time in 2007. Today, I can precisely list EVERYTHING that has been destroyed and realize to what extent my rushes, despite myself, represent a reserve of documents. For fifteen years, I could not open these images, view them, so unthinkable was the superimposition of all these beauties with the traumatic images of war. I thought about it day after day, year after year, but the treasure seemed inaccessible. And above all, I didn’t know what to do with it. It was a dead letter. And then there was the shock of the movie FOR SAMA by Syrian director Waad al Kateab. I had never seen such an intimate document on the war. It took me several weeks to realize that her film finally gave birth to mine, which dreamed of being the antidote. During the pandemic, during the months of confinement, I viewed and flushed the long hours of footage. I imagined a particular film, a letter that I address to Waad. In this epistolary form, it is the exhumed images and sounds that bring life to a bloodless Syria. This film follows the chronological order of the shooting from 2005 to 2007 from Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Palmyra, to the desert of Cham along the Euphrates. The story of two trips, but above all a sensory and memorial experience, he seeks to literally express and show the country, its unforgettable humanity, its sumptuousness and vitality, its grace and its joie de vivre before destruction. mass of its people, its houses, its cities, its heritage.
February 9 to February 16
QUARANTA LACRIME – FORTY TEARS
Cecilia Mangini just passed away on January 21, 2021. She was a pioneer in Italian documentary cinema, politically engaged alongside Pier Paolo Pasolini. It is he who writes the words of STENDALÌ around the lamentations and funeral songs of the region of Puglia. Faces and gestures of mourning filmed like no one else. Here, a sixteen year old young man is celebrated and sung and mourned. For the fortieth week of the Crown Letter, as the whole world has been living in quarantine for almost a year, I think of this young man celebrated, and sung and cried, I see those white handkerchiefs waved like an intimate and loving flag of peace, as the only object to wring out sorrow above his childish face. I think this young man could be the face of the world right now that we all watch as we celebrate, sing, cry, shake our hair , our linen, our hopes as women, as mothers, watching over the world with all our strengths.
STENDALÌ by Cecilia Mangini, 11 minutes, 1960. Film clip cropped, contrasted, saturated by Manuela Morgaine February 2021. Text by Pier Paolo Pasolini spoken by actress Lilla Brignone. Music: Egisto Macchi
February 2 to February 9
January 26 to February 2
THERE IS ALWAYS LIGHT
« There is always light if we are brave enough to see it. There is always light if we are brave enough to be it.” Amanda Gorman – 20/1/2021
Spectrogram of my voice saying in loop these last two sentences of the poetess’s speech at Joe Biden’s induction ceremony.
Technics: PhonoPaper ©Aleksander Zolotov.
Launch the app PHONOPAPER on your mobile phone, point the camera at the code and smoothly scan the picture from left to right. You will be able to hear the sound and play the poem.
January 19 to January 26
January 12 to January 19
Crossing Abbey Road – Pandemic remix. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport 7/01/2021.
January 5 to January 12
White pillows inhabit a room. They are listening rooms, offering an intimate posture. They all contain a few minutes of original composition. The sound pillows alternate between sleeping and waking, bringing out a musicality of low masses and soft waves. Tactile and sound surfaces. The association of the object with the world of sleep makes listeners wander like sleepwalkers. The sensuality of contact with the pillowcase, the music coming from inside the pillow, wants to offer a tactile and supra-sensitive experience of sound, experience another form of chamber music.
December 15 to December 22
En 2008 j’ai enregistré les battements de mon cœur afin qu’ils rejoignent LES ARCHIVES DU CŒUR de Christian Boltanski. Depuis 2005, il poursuit une collecte d’enregistrements de battements de cœur à travers le monde afin de rassembler tous les cœurs. Projet universel et utopique, LES ARCHIVES DU CŒUR sont conservées depuis 2010 sur l’île japonaise de Teshima, dans la mer intérieure de Seto.
In 2008 I recorded the beating of my heart so that they could join the HEART ARCHIVE by Christian Boltanski. Since 2005 he has been collecting heartbeat recordings around the world in order to bring all hearts together. A universal and utopian project, the HEART ARCHIVE has been kept since 2010 on the Japanese island of Teshima, in the Seto Inland Sea.
December 8 to December 15
stay, remain, rest, linger, loiter, dally, stop, stay put, stick around, kick about, kick around, bide, tarry, stand by, hold back, be patient, bide one’s time, hang fire, mark time, kill time, waste time, cool one’s heels, kick one’s heels, twiddle one’s thumbs, pause, stop, cease, halt, discontinue, rest, hold on, hang around, hang about, sit tight, hold one’s horses, sweat it out, await, look out, watch out, anticipate, expect, be ready, be in readiness, long for, hope for, count the days until, be postponed, be delayed, be put off, be held back, be deferred, be put on the back burner, be put on ice, delay, postpone, put off, hold off, hold back, defer, delay, hold-up, period of waiting, interval, interlude, intermission, pause, break, stay, cessation, suspension, detention, check, stoppage, halt, interruption, lull, respite, recess, postponement, discontinuation, moratorium, hiatus, gap, lapse, rest, entr’acte, stay awake, stay up, keep vigil.
December 1 to December 8
Le jour de la Saint Martin, le 11 novembre, à la nuit tombante, les enfants défilent en processions, portant des lanternes, chantant des Martinslieder. Comme un appel à la lumière pour fendre la nuit. Nous sommes en 2020 à travers le monde depuis un an en proie à une épidémie. L’épidémie de peste frappe l’Italie entre 1629 et 1631 tuant un million de personnes, 25% de la population. Le médecin de peste portait alors un masque à la forme d’oiseau au long bec. Les gens croyaient que la peste s’était propagée par les oiseaux et que ce masque permettait à la maladie d’être éliminée du corps du patient en le transférant au vêtement. Le masque protégeait aussi le médecin de peste. Son bec était rempli de substances fortes et agréables, ambre gris, menthe et pétales de rose.
Offrir au monde ce chant de lumière murmuré par un enfant d’Italie, comme une conjuration d’automne aux oiseaux de malheur, porteurs d’épidémies.
On Saint Martin’s Day, November 11, at nightfall, children parade in processions, carrying lanterns, singing Martinslieder. Like a call to the light to cut through the night. We are in 2020 across the world for a year in the grip of an epidemic. The plague epidemic struck Italy between 1629 and 1631 killing one million people, 25% of the population. The plague doctor then wore a mask in the form of a bird with a long beak. People believed that the plague was spread by birds and that this mask allowed the disease to be cleared from the patient’s body by transferring it to the garment. The mask also protected the plague doctor. Its beak was filled with strong and pleasant substances, ambergris, mint and rose petals.
Offer the world this song of light whispered by a child from Italy, like an autumn conspiracy to birds of misfortune, carriers of epidemics.
November 24 to December 1
prayer for our girls
concept & voice: Manuela Morgaine
music & soundscape: ∑ichaël Grébil
When it happened in Nigeria April 14th 2014, i couldn’t pronounce BRING BACK OUR GIRLS. I could only Pray for our girls. I couldn’t pray without pronouncing your names, more than two hundred. I couldn’t pray without asking Michaël Grébil to compose music for this prayer: WITH YOU.
Today in these pandemic times, I still pray for “our girls”, and more and more inside our Choir of women, Crown Letter sisters trying to create a space to be TOGETHER. Today, more and more WITH YOU.
© Manuela Morgaine & ∑ichaël Grébil – 2014.
10 November to 17 November
3 november to 10 November
CAVE CANEM – Prends garde au chien – cette inscription on la trouve à l’entrée des anciennes demeures de Pompéi. En Italie OCCHIO, littéralement ŒIL indique un danger imminent dont il faut se protéger. Premier jour du deuxième confinement à Paris, en un temps épidémique hors de contrôle, mêlé à la terreur des couteaux sur la gorge des innocents, l’impression qu’une Peste menace notre Humanité. Cet Œil ouvert reste un refuge et le garant de notre résistance.
CAVE CANEM – Beware of the dog – this inscription can be found at the entrance to the ancient residences of Pompeii. In Italy OCCHIO, literally EYE indicates an imminent danger from which you must protect yourself. First day of the second Lockdown in Paris, in an epidemic time out of control, mixed with the terror of knives at the throats of the innocent, the impression that a Plague threatens our humanity. This Open Eye remains a refuge and the guarantor of our resistance.
20 October to 27 October
A l’heure où le virus se propage à la vitesse de la lumière à Paris, où la nuit ne se partage plus, où le couvre-feu a été déclaré, où un innocent a été décapité pour avoir transmis à des enfants la liberté de penser, de crument dessiner, je marche dans les rues de Gênes en Italie. Je découvre la tête de Saint Jean-Baptiste déposée en “décollation” et la Madone du Lait – ou Vierge Lactens – à qui les parents font Offrande des bavoirs de leurs enfants. En laissant couler des larmes, je forme des voeux.
MADONNA DEL LATTE – – Chiesa delle Vigne, Gênes.
6 October to 13 October
Lockdown Harvest: between March and September 2020
It took all this time to grow the grains and pick them.
LE TEMPS A COMMENCÉ DE CESSER
بدأ الزمن في التوقف
TIME HAS BEGUN TO CEASE
Tout ce que tu ne comprends pas
Cris encore à la Nuit
Compte les nuits de guerre
Compte les jours de paix
Compte les heures sans le sang
Compte sur ta main
Raconte pour refermer les plaies
Raconte pour enfanter
Tout ce qui se forme
Et ne se détruit pas
Pour qu’il existe
Dans ta langue
Et qu’on s’y love Indéfiniment
Dans la boucle du vivant
Je te dis :
Prends ta propre nature
Non la multitude
Pour guide de ta vie
A part entière
Divination proférée au nombril
Au chœur du flanc des hommes
Aux multiples bras
Issu du milieu du monde
poésies oraculaires, 2020
May 12 to May 19
When there are no more words, none at all, when there is nothing more to say, just sketchy gestures, when artistic breath is reduced to the essential, to the very breath of life, then what remains is this handmade gesture – with a megaphone, or a siren, or fog horns, or song, with hands applauding the care-givers every evening at 8 p.m. I am in Paris, this takes place on the river Seine, on a Freyssinet barge, Saturn, which dates from the time of the Spanish flu. My maternal great grandmother, Esther Louza, died from this flu in 1919. So, for me, each evening is like a ritual, the only possible gesture at sunset to ward off the dead and testify to the living. While waiting to rise to the surface again, to cry out, to be born again.
Manuela Morgaine is a writer, a theatre director, a filmmaker and a performer living and working in Paris. She runs Envers Compagnie (link: http://www.enverscompagnie.com/), which has been devoted to the production of interdisciplinary works since 1991. She is the author of several books and experimental radio documentaries broadcast on National French radio station France Culture. She has given her voice to numerous radio and film projects, and has directed several movies, including the four-part, four-hour long Foudre/Lightning (link: http://www.foudre-lefilm.com/en/) in 2013. She is also a performer and actually working on ORAKL, a long-term project on the question of Oracles, involving research on oracular traditions all around the Mediterranean. The project will culminate in a book of oracular poems as well as an installation-performance involving a large sculpted door made out of ice acting the role of interactive oracle.