The origin of “Passage 2009: Exquisite Corpse” is “The Passage Film and Poetry Festival 2006”, a unique blend of video art, poetry and philosophy that Jeffrey Charles Stanley presented in a university theater in rural Murray, Kentucky. Two years later, he organized a followup exhibition referred to as “Passage 2008”, where he invited me to participate as a means to expand and bring work from abroad that otherwise would not have exposure in a small rural community. For this manifestation, we prompted artists and filmmakers with the question: what is the human condition? And a selection of 8 experimental videos submitted from the United States and France was presented in Murray State University and Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
The true essence of our curatorial collaboration evolved extensively with “Passage 2009”, a yearlong project in the form of a video exquisite corpse between 17 artists from the United States, France, and Canada. This time, instead of an open call we invited and commissioned individually each artist to create an original work after a specific literary quote (each his/her own). All the quotes were previously gleaned and edited by us with the help of a poet, Jonathan Regier, in order to design an overall, albeit loose dreamy narrative structure (libretto) for the exquisite corpse and embark the viewers in a three-act journey (I The Falling Asleep, II The Visions, III The Waking Up). The result was premiered in Paris at the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, where all participants were finally revealed to each other and the public.
The artists, who embarked on this journey, were Vadim Bernard, Joshua Bronaugh, Vincent Ciciliato, Natacha Clitandre, Emma Dusong, Kristina Felix, Eric Hovis, Robert Melton, Jacques Perconte, Jonathan Regier, Rbt Sps, Michael Taylor, Johanna Vaude, Ricky Yanas, Jeffrey Charles Stanley and myself.
Post-scriptum: a selection of videos from Passage 2009 that I showed at the École Supérieure d’Art de Lorraine in October 2009 led to the publication of my essay “Le Passage du texte à l’image vidéo” in Actes du Colloque – Ni tout à fait la même, ni tout à fait une autre, ÉSAL – Musée de l’Image (Épinal), 2010, pp. 34-40.