Poetry – Jacob Wren

Dermot Seymour, Hiberno Hare,  huile sur toile - 220x163 cm, 2009
Dermot Seymour, Hiberno Hare, huile sur toile – 220×163 cm, 2009

A short history of anti-theatre, non-music,

counter-philosophy,semi-specific art and unpolitics.

The things I like are, in general, in opposition to things most generally accepted. There are of course exceptions. No one wants to be contrary simply for the sake of being contrary and neither do I. Without an enemy, without something to resist against, most things fall flat. Co-operation and symbiotic relations are also necessary. There are no shortage of evils in the world that must be resisted, no shortage of mediocrity in art that must be pushed against or undermined. It is not the mediocrity of a single work of art or artist that must be resisted, but the mediocrity of art itself. And it is in fact these false dichotomies that must be undermined since, to some extent, all dichotomies are false. The energy gained from such frustrations goes to waste if it is not put to use, and so much of what exists in the world, and is most appreciated, is a waste of its own fragile potential. There is what is, and what could be, and what could be most often contains the greater energy. We must struggle with what is, in the here and now, without regret, seizing every last opportunity. How are we to understand criteria when the search is for something new and there is nothing new? How are we to understand selection? Does it entail risk to fight the status quo or is it more of a risk to fight within and against ourselves? The world is wrong in so many ways and each of us is also wrong, but everything that exists contains at least a modicum of the future. It is within the tension of this future, in its likely partial failure, that each history begins. This entails saying what you mean as precisely as possible, but not letting any preconceived meaning overwhelm you. Going against things also entails going along with some specific idea of the against. We must avoid parody, avoid satire, embrace genuine humor, find the joy within our lived refusal. There are several mysteries here that will not be explained. Several operations. If we fall behind at least we are still in movement. If we are impatient at least the situation surrounds us. Everything has not yet been done.

Écrivain et metteur en scène né en 1971 à Jérusalem, Jacob Wren est l’auteur de Unrehearsed Beauty (Coach House Books, 1998), de Families Are Formed Through Copulation (Pedlar Press, 2007), et de Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed (Pedlar Press, 2010). Ses deux premiers livres ont parus en français au Quartanier, dans une traduction de Christophe Bernard, qui traduira aussi Revenge Fantasies… Jacob Wren vit à Montréal, où il est directeur artistique de la compagnie de théâtre PME-ART. – Le Quartanier

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