Juliette Beau Denès
Curators: Fanny Lallart and Céline Poulin
ELGER is a CAC project that lies at the crossroads of art and popular education. It consists of a series of collaborative artistic interventions with groups of children, in order to think of the transmission processes as a form, an artistic proposal in itself.
How to deconstruct the vertical relationships of a group? How to redefine the usual polarities that traditionally oppose the teacher and the learner? How to deprioritize knowledge? Those are the questions that could be explored during the different workshops.
ELGER runs parallel to and in collaboration with another project lead by the art center this year around the stakes of pedagogy: the Ǝcole. True research in action, the Ǝcole is a space of discussion and experimentation for its future potential users to think of the pedagogical contents and of a shared structure: who is teaching what, how and for whom? While at the same time distinct, but also connected by the problematics they raise, we imagine that ELGER and the Ǝcole will nurture one another in their respective experimentations.
Pronounced in French “Elles gèrent” (“They’re handling it”), ELGER refers to the methodologies of auto-determination put in place by various feminist movements since the 1970s. Indeed, their thoughts have enabled us to raise awareness on what defines us and brought us tools to think about the circulation of speech and power, especially through the always renewed attention they bring to horizontal transmission as an act of self-defense. Influenced by the feminist thinkers and pedagogues such as bell hooks or Audre Lorde, ELGER inscribes itself within that history. That is why we have chosen to address our invitation only to women, whose work directly refers to those stakes.
ELGER is also a project of popular education and is consequently anchored in this unrecognized history by the art world. The prospective work of the artist Marie Preston, and the upcoming release of her book Co-éducation inventer l'école, penser la co-création (1960-1990) infuses our research. In fact, the investigation of Marie Preston within open schools, public dispositives thinking co-education, puts forward specific tools allowing group work:
“To exist as a collective force, each group needs to decide on founding motions specific to its functioning. This supposes that “artifices”, “institutions” are employed. The artifice “tries to make the arrangements run away which, in a set situation, block, lock our capacity of action.” It consists of inventing new habits and believing in their potentially transformative effect. It forces “shifts” and obliges us to think of what seems “natural”. The term “institution”, for Fernand Oury it designates “what we institute together based on constantly evolving realities”: “The simple rule that permits ten tykes to use the soap without fighting is already an institution” [...] In institutional pedagogies and in co-creation, the training and functioning of the group participate in research-actions and research-creations by being a full part of the artistic and pedagogic process. The group’s awareness and everyone’s implication in its running accompanies the shared activity within a democratic dynamic. Popular education and institutional pedagogies give us technical and theoretical tools that permit this collective future. Why is it necessary? Because phenomenons that happen within a group are the same that we find in our societies. These favor individuality, where relationships are tainted by power dynamics, by different relationships to language, or by processes of cultural or economic domination of men/women. In 1986, Félix Guattari said in a conference about «Education and its networks» that it is first necessary to “reinvent machines of sociality, […] at the most elementary level, in order to reinvest those forms of organization capable of handling the biggest issues of society.”
Based on this observation, every artist and public outreach staff will incorporate an “artificial” process into their workshops to experiment alternative ways of being together. Besides, the heritage of feminist thinking and popular education are also interesting to us in their capacity to think differently the traditional categorization of knowledge. The deconstruction of what traditionally opposes knowledge known as “legitimate” (to the artistic and educational institutions) and those illegitimate, will also be a path explored through the workshops by bringing, for example, domestic danse, fan art, nail art, or even by learning how to interrupt each other.
ELGER is carried by the idea, utopic but nonetheless crucial, that at a small scale, we find the same dynamics that guide society at large. With this in mind, developing other types of collective organization in order to try new ways of doing together is an experience of strong political emancipation.
Fanny Lallart and Céline Poulin
Translation: Louise Ledour
 Extract of Co-éducation inventer l'école, penser la co-création (1960-1990) Marie Preston, dir. Marie Preston & Céline Poulin, Ed. Tombolo Presses and CAC Brétigny, to be published in 2021.
This project is part of the “Contrat d'Éducation Artistique et Culturelle” (CTEAC) of Cœur d'Essonne Agglomération with the DRAC Île-de-France and the Academy of Versailles. “ELGER” feature initiatives carried out locally by artists with the preschool and elementary school Aprinivilla of Avrainville, the elementary school Roger Vivier of Marolles-en-Hurepoix, the elementary school André Malraux of Villiers-sur-Orge, the middle school Jean Zay of Morsang-sur-Orge and the middle school Roland Garros of Saint-Germain-lès-Arpajon.
Fanny Lallart (born in 1995 in Lyon) works and lives in Montreuil and is an artist, writer and activist. She graduated from l’École nationale supérieure d'arts de Paris-Cergy in October 2020. Her final school project was an open radiophonic space dedicated to dialogue. She has been developing a critical work for a few years through collective work and writing. She published her master’s thesis as a fanzine called 11 texts on free work, art and love in which she questions our relationship to work, relaying the thoughts of female authors such as Elsa Dorlin, Sara Ahmed and Sarah Schulman. She is the co-founder of Show, a participatory student journal. In addition, she co-created “Minimarket” with Thily Vossier, a cycle of exhibition in a minimarket of Lyon from 2016 to 2019. In 2021, Fanny Lallart is in residency at CAC Brétigny.
Juliette Beau Denès graduated in 202 from the École nationale supérieure d'arts de Paris-Cergy (ENSAPC). She is a writer and a photographer. She works specifically on self-portrait (photographic and written) and reflects on self-image as a tool for emancipation and auto-fiction. In 2020, she integrated the Master of Literary Creation of University Paris 8 Vincennes—Saint-Denis and she is part of the student participatory magazine Show. As a youth educator outside of her work as an artist, Juliette is used to working with children.
Morgane Brien-Hamdane graduated from the ebabx—école supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux in 2019. Her practice is centered on dance and writing; she conducts workshops dedicated to the psychotherapeutic approaches of the body in squats and in associative backgrounds. As a researcher within the dance department of the University Paris 8 Vincennes—Saint-Denis, she is writing a book about the link between dance as a domestic practice and the somatic practices as a model for a new form of pedagogy.
Pauline Lecerf works and lives in Paris. She graduated in 2016 from the Haute École des arts du Rhin (HEAR) and participated in 2018 to the research program “Création & Mondialisation” of the Offshore School of Shanghai. She makes radiophonic pieces, drawings, performances and publications. Through varied mediums, she explores with poetry and humor the relationships between tensed terms (the precise/the blurry, the worrying/the comforting, understanding/not understanding). Pauline is also known for “Tomber oui, souffrir non” (“Fall yes, suffer no”), created in 2019 with Adélaïde Gandrille and Flore Magnier, parkour plotters, a free class-performance of 1 hour 15 minutes dedicated to the techniques allowing to fall on the ground without hurting oneself (too) much.
Vinciane Mandrin graduated in 2018 from École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Lyon (Ensba Lyon). She has a multi-faceted practice that uses writing as a starting point. She works on ways of thought, with an artistic grammar, defense and escape strategies and distort assignations. She uses performance art, edition and sound to share her work. She also often participates in roundtables, reviews, fanzines, radiophonic shows… She created in 2018 the intersectional feminist collective Cybersistas, a research group based on discrimations within art schools. Lately, she has been animating workshops around feminist self-defense and performances in art schools, in hand with Nino André and the collective Fouhét-Cù, workshops around issues of feminist self-defense and performance in art schools (ISBA Besançon, ENSAD Paris, ENSAPC, ESACM ...). She recently showed her last performative piece, Cabaret Quelconque, at the BF15 (Lyon).
Zoé Philibert was born in 1991 in Albi and currently works and lives in Montreuil. A 2016 graduate from the École nationale supérieure d'arts de Paris-Cergy (ENSAPC), Zoé writes texts that she publishes on her websites and in homemade editions. She also creates posters and performances and directs since 2016 the web-serie WAFA that showcases the warm-ups of a group of “gigoteurs” (“wrigglers”) searching for “new movement”. Her work also incorporates “concert-tutorials”, “partitions-texts to dance”, “pogo-poems” and collective dance workshops. Dance and the practice of movement quickly appeared to her as an obvious continuation of poetry actions. The notion of group can be found in all of her projects, for example, the group of people she works with forms a true gang.
For further information about this project, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org