Do your encyclopaedia yourself

Afterwords: Lynda Gaudreau and Cie De Brune, Document 2 / 30 Jul 2002English

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Contextual note
This text is part of the project Afterwords, curated by Jeroen Peeters for the festival ImPulsTanz Vienna in summer 2002. Every night, three critics in residence shared their impressions and thoughts on the performances immediately after having seen them, in an act of instantaneous writing. During the process of writing, these comments were projected in the theatre lobby and later that night made available on the websites and
A selection of the texts by Jeroen Peeters is available on Sarma, in a slightly edited version, sometimes with a postscript. Two essays elucidate the project Afterwords and reflect on its poetical and political implications. To retrieve the material, search under: ‘Afterwords’.

What a marvellous coincidence! Preparing a performance some weeks ago I started collecting material about 'pétanque', an encyclopaedia so to speak, and found out this game is no less than a hype. What I gathered so far – listed in chronological order, with a precise description, since these are documents, they trace a certain reality:

  • a score for a performance to be performed by Nikolaus M. and Günther H. on a pétanque court
  • a series of photos, including one picture of the sign "Terrain réservé aux boulistes"
  • a map of Montpellier with marks of all the pétanque areas, supplemented with notes about urbanism and public space
  • a motto: "La nouvelle agora: espace publique à bouleverser"
  • a postcard with pétanque players, sent from Montpellier to Kattrin D. and Thomas P. in Frankfurt, to report about the proceedings of the project
  • a recent issue of the Viennese weekly Falter, containing an article on among other things pétanque. There are a few clubs in Vienna that have a special interest in promoting the correct rules of pétanque, as well as the correct name for a game which is known here as "boccia"
  • a video-recording of the new television ad of Coca-Cola, where people are playing pétanque on a construction site
  • a discussion with Alice C. about the French words "bord", "aborder" and "abordage" and their connection with pétanque

Still to be collected:

  • a set of pétanque balls
  • a slide of people playing pétanque on a court (since slides can be projected and thus install a space)
  • the video by Lynda Gaudreau and Marianne Halter would be a great acquisition...

Postscript November 2002: After a few weeks of writing Afterwords, I was looking for new forms of writing, and especially for other ways to include the readers, that is the audience following the writing in the theatre lobby. This Afterwords text is obviously not a review of Gaudreau’s ‘Document 2’, but takes its dramaturgy to apply it to the text, which functions as an invitation to the spectators to do the same. Since Gaudreau proposes a series of documents rather than a traditional dramaturgy that conveys its own truth, the latter is anyway floating and waiting to be grasped through mental wanderings.