When Pierre Guyotat (Bourg-Argental, France, 1940 – Paris, France, 2020) published his book Eden, Eden, Eden in 1970 he already knew how far a clear conscience, the law and the army can hit. The writer had been enlisted at the end of the Algerian War of Independence and shortly afterwards was arrested in Kabylie accused of attacking the moral of the Army, inciting desertion and being in possession of and distributing banned publications.
The controversial publication Eden, Eden, Eden, a novel set in a polluted area of the Algerian desert, was released with a decree banning its sale to minors, as well as its exhibition and publicity. Perhaps the most salient aspect, in the broadest sense of the word in relation to Guyotat’s work given that it had brought him into contact with prison and repression, was that it prompted intellectuals and artists to defend it vehemently.
Eden, Eden, Eden could be seen as a dramaturgy, in which characters’ movements are sketched on a feverish set. Everything seems to be there for somebody to choreograph the type of unique phrase which happens in a seemingly unique stage space. The Choreography is executed with reading.
On 9 September 2020, in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the novel’s publication, the Museo Reina Sofía presents We Will No Longer Be Slaves
A choreographed reading of Guyotat’s Eden, Eden, Eden, a public activity designed by Javier Pérez Iglesias. Five people — a writer, a visual artist, a choreographer, an art historian and a librarian activist — will read excerpts from Eden, Eden, Eden, inviting choreographed listening followed by a conversation on this piece of skewed language and hallucinated punctuation that wounds, excites and stains.
Selina Blasco is a professor in the Fine Arts Department of the Complutense University of Madrid. She harnesses her passion for literature and writing through what she calls “bizarre experiences”, researching with voluntarily restricted bibliographies, studying through the markings of vandalised books or exploring systems of non-normative literacy in the protracted world of the textile.
María Jerez’s work lies “between” choreography, film and the visual arts. Since 2004, she has made pieces that explore the relationship with the spectator as the space in which modes of representation enter into crisis. From El Caso del Espectador (2004) to her most recent pieces Blob (2016), Yabba (2017) and The Stain (2019), this relationship has mutated from an “understanding” of theatre and film conventions; that is, from “expertise” in the deliberate loss of references where the artist, the piece and the spectator mutually behave as strangers.
Javier Pérez Iglesias is a librarian activist who relates to reading from a space that combines research, the access to knowledge and artistic practice. He has one foot in the Desiderata publishing house, where he started publishing contributions on art, performing arts, artistic research and (risky) practices in archives and libraries. His work entails programming, listening, writing and sharing knowledge, and tasks from the Library in the Fine Arts Department at the Complutense University of Madrid.
Andrés Senra defines himselves, in first person plural, as “artivists”. His latest works present the individual and the community as ephemeral assemblages, in which political, economic and social tensions in the contemporary world are cast and somatised. In recent works, he has addressed issues such as economic migration in Spain after the economic crisis in 2008, the archive as an artwork and the political and affective history of the queer community in Madrid in the 1990s. Moreover, he has recently carried out a critical review of post-humanism from positions of sexual dissidence, putting forward a defence of the monster, hybridisation, miscegenation and post-gender via speculative sci-fi as a means to rethink the contemporary world during times of pandemic.
Sabina Urraca is a writer who works as a contributor with different publications, including El País, El diario.es, Vice, Hoy por hoy, El Estado Mental and Cinemanía. She is author of the novel Las niñas prodigio, published by Fulgencio Pimentel (2017), and has participated in the anthologies La errabunda (Primer tratado ibérico de deambulología heterodoxa), published by Lindo&Espinosa (2018), and Tranquilas. Historias para ir solas de noche, published by Lumen (2019). She currently runs workshops in different writing schools and cultural institutions, and in 2020 she will be the resident editor at Editorial Barrett (Seville). Moreover, she was recently awarded a writing scholarship from the University of Iowa (USA).