Toutes ces filles couronnées de langues

Movie coming soon

We are the 89 women of the Island. First generation. We have all chosen to leave our fathers, our uncles and husbands, our fiancés, our lovers. We have deserted our countries, our houses, our palaces, our convents, our yurts, our rooms, and all other living-spaces. We have been separated from our material goods, undressed, stripped, cut loose. Together we hope for a new society. A society where our desires will splash out and be re-hung. Pleasure will be the only guide. We wish for well-being, and we will care for one another. We will exist for ourselves and for the stories that will be told about us, stories that will carry to other shores. Soon others will in join us. We will cross many places at once. Our name: Kyrra.

Kyrra was situated to the east of the Greek coast, or maybe it was situated more to the west of the Turkish coast, or really Kyrrha refused to be situated. The 89 women who lived there started to invent a new language, the first stone of a new society. A moving language. An annihilation of the one that we had before. During 89 days they threw themselves into it, bodies flew, materializing in the hollows that they left in the objects that they hit. They found and inventoried gestures, then the forms that the gestures traced. Little by little they inscribed them on the floor, on the walls, on leaves, on stones, on goats, on stomachs, and the island became an alphabet. It was necessary to find a place for these signs. A place where bodies could tie and untie what was drawn. A place where one could walk, roll, rub against, without ever solidifying language.

They started weaving a first story. Gestures and forms produced signs. Gathered together, the signs produced words. The rules were simple. Because the word is before the thing, it can create the thing as long as no other corresponding thing appears. The word cannot be said. Signs are not sounds, they are not gestures or forms. The new language will not be spoken and it will not lead to any form of speech. It will be written and acted. Only this. The voice will be reserved for singing, for shouting, for music, for simple emotions, for rhythm and melody, for dissonance. There will be instruments to accompany the voice. Instruments of all kinds.

In the foreground is a black mass, porous, formless. Green pixels grow behind it. Then a mountain. The mountains multiply. Black mountains that grow pink at their peaks. A point grows where it was curved. The mountain spit sometimes, it covered the green pixels with a crust, black now, which forms the island’s surface. There is not much left. Before, we would go there looking for the orchilla that tinted everything in red, we would find Medea resting there, and we called her The Happy One. This was after she killed her children, after she helped steal the fleece, after everyone called her crazy or called her Medea The Witch.

Women live in exile on Kyrra, a volcanic island. They come from different geographies and from different times. They live in an egalitarian relationship with the environment, attempting to communicate with the environment through the intermediary of sculpture. They invent a new language, without words, in order to imagine a relation to the world that is not founded on domination. Time is a continuous flow and certain images repeat. What we see reflected on faces show us that some undefined danger exists, and that the community resists it. This community is made up of the island’s numerous dunes as much as it is made up of black sand, of a rock that that slowly reddens, of water, of the changing sky, of the sounds produced by the wind and the sea, of certain constructed places, and of these women. Three groups of sculptures work on the relationship to language through the intermediary of movement, and the bodies that activate this movement. A specific role is attributed to the sound produced by one of these sculptural groupings: three performed sculpture-instruments that, in collaboration with the environment, will produce the film’s soundtrack. We imagine this soundtrack as an actor in its own right. A series of performances that will take place during the film’s exhibition will share the creative process with the spectators, and will attempt to link the fictional time of the film with the time of the exhibition.

The entire world is my unconscious, the entire world is my body. What happens outside happens inside. I am, myself, the earth.
 — Hélène Cixous

Toutes ces filles couronnées de langues [All these girls crowned with tongues], 2018–19

Movie, 60 min

This project is a work of research based on ideas of community, body, mutation, identity, language, and environment. We were initially drawn to the desire to write a fiction as a result of a voyage-investigation that took place in the North of Greece: the fiction would be about an island of women.

This project is supported by Lafayette Anticipations, CIRVA and Fondation Villa Datris.