A history polemizes of the Festival d’Avignon.
By Gilles Costaz
The Literary Magazine n°466
Founded in 1947, the Festival d’Avignon reaches its 61e edition and festival its 60e birthday! One will celebrate there Rene Char who, by giving the name of Jean Vilar, had found the solution gaining for a quite vague project of demonstration to the palate of the Popes. Bruno Tackels, by publishing the Voices d’Avignon (at the beginning a serial for France Culture), recalls it with l’ambition more or month acknowledged d’écrire a against-history of the Festival. He insists much on the fact that l’entreprise, by its artistic choices, seldom made ḻunanimity. If its new direction, that of Vincent Baudriller and Hortense Archambault are disputed, this n’est not a new fact. Vilar and its successors since 1971, Paul Puaux, Bernard Faivre d’Arcier and Alain Crombecque –nous point out it – were very often ridges some with the polemic.
C’est to insert an open door – these battles are well-known – but that makes it possible to ḻautor to firmly take party for the new directors "whose great force will have been to put clearly this question: how to give again direction, voice and with the artists d’aujourd’hui? "Perhaps, but it seems to us especially that the current owners of the festival are good captains whose weakness is in the theoretical speech, impromptu qu’étayé. It will be also noted that Tackels is located in a intellectual current very precise – approximately the thought France Culture plus Release – and that, s’il quotes many critics, it never reproduces an article of Michel Cournot in the World, d’Armelle Héliot in the Barber or of Jean-Pierre Léonardini in L’Humanité.
The book n’en less strong amusing with its shape of assembly d’archives is not found and d’entretiens new facts in urgency. Here is Sartre and Vilar being chamaillant on the concept of "popular theatre", Jacques Lassalle éructant against criticism, the war of distinct when the Festival staggers under the revolt of intermittent, there are four ans… The whole has l’allure d’un joining ḏactualities rowdy. With the program of this summer, there will be the Silence of the Communists in a translation and a setting in scene of Jean-Pierre Vincent. One will await much of this rather insane project drawn from nontheatrical texts. A man of the left noncommunist Italian, Vittorio Foa, request with two ex-leaders of the NCV, Miriam Mafai and Alfredo Reichlin: why did you keep silent yourselves vis-a-vis from the errors and the horrors of Communism? Gilles David, Melania Giglio and Charlie Nelson will play this extreme epistolary debate.
The Voices d’Avignon, Bruno Tackels, éd. of Seuil/France Culture, 22 €.
The Silence of the Communists, Foa, Mafai, Reichlin, éd. of L’Arche, 13 €.
Festival d’Avignon, July 6-27, www.festival-avignon.com. Tel.: 04 90 14 14 14.
image caption: The Court ḏhonnor at the time of the 59e Festival in 2005.
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