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A project of Anna Barseghian and Stefan Kristensen, in collaboration with Maya Bösch and Isabelle Papaloïzos

Delirium is a struggle of the I for existence, in order to escape the collapse of one’s own possibility.
(Henri Maldiney)

Desires Without Destiny is a multimedia performative project based on the metaphor of the black box. The black box is a technical device recording every important information during the flight of an aircraft. When an accident occurs, the black box must be found in order to understand what happened before the crash. But the black box is also a metaphor of the unconscious, and as it is well known, Freud used to visualize this mysterious realm of the psyche as a theater scene, where the individual’s deepest desires are played out, in reference to famous mythological figures such as Oedipus, Electra, Narcissus or others. Against this theatrical conception, Deleuze and Guattari claim that the unconscious doesn’t belong to the individual, but that it is a more general and deeper force playing tricks with the subject. The subjects that we are would be no more than epiphenomena of those imperious movements. But the common idea is that the space of desire is alien to the space of reasons and consciousness. The black box is exactly this space of desire open to the exploration of everybody.
The idea of taking the theater space as a black box amounts to show that the space of desire is not limited to a scene, but that it fills the whole room. The spectators, then, become actors in the exploration of this space. And there’s another aspect: what is visible in the black box happened before the crash. Its contents are only accessible afterwards, in a remote, non-chronological time-space.

During four days, from May 22 to 26, the Theater Saint Gervais is a black box. Some of the characters will already be out of the box, Antigone, Medea, Phedra will be in residence at Utopiana, hosted by Maya Bösch. The evening before the opening of the black box to the public, a collective performance will be staged at Utopiana.
In the theater hall, small screens (iPads), like the digital screens in an aircraft, are set up on the seats, and show various artists’ video works (see the list below), interviews with theorists, and archive material around the question of desire and the time of the unconscious. On the stage, the interactive installation of the Japanese artist Takahiro Matsuo will fill the space.