The Theater of Questions? What’s that? June 1999
One day, a very long time ago, I saw an old rabbi running in all directions in the Prague streets, looking insane and shouting: “I have answers! I have answers! Does anybody have questions?"
Jacques Rebotier, Answer to the Previous Question.
The Theater of Questions
Indeed, there are too many answers in the world, and not enough questions! Let’s fight the W.I.D. (World Interrogative Deficit)! Let’s reverse the situation!
The Theater of ..., what’s that? That’s a good question.
A process, out of n[i] years. At the beginning, thousands of questions collected throughout the world, mail boxes, the internet. In the end, in the year 2000 or so, a show entitled The Answer Off the Point: a show made up of signs, movements, sounds, gestures, dances, videos, acrobatic feats, lights.
The beginning: a wide collection of questions from all around the world (France, Ireland, Morocco, Tunisia, Germany, Poland, Australia, The United States, Bolivia...), collected by mail, fax, telephone, the internet, and also by mailbox-objects designed by plastic artists from all countries, and who travel throughout the world. The first one, carried out by Virginie Rochetti, traveled from festival to festival, Maubeuge, Avignon, Pont-à-Mousson, Saint-Nazaire. The second one, by Tom Lopez, was put in the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh, North Carolina. Others are to be made.
Questions are also designed or treated on the occasion of writing circles, dance workshops or theatrical games (Berlin, Agadir, Saint-Nazaire, Nanterre ).
The wide collecting has already started, in all languages, in all mouths. In the end, it will make up the multilingual and multiglingual prologue of the show entitled The Answer Off the Point. Between this final point and the initial one, the Theater of Questions develops itself as it pleases. It will undoubtedly get its rules, its laws, its working time, its political parties, its kitchen, its furniture, its gods, its library, its toys, its road maps, its history books, its post and its stamps, its constitution, its ceremonies, its surveys, its questionnaires, its works of art, its police, its catechism, its garbage cans.
From time to time there will be some States of the Question, meetings, shows, performances, installations, books, exhibitions, which will permit questioners to take stock on the state of deterioration of the project.
Questioning friends, have you ever asked yourselves whether you had a question to ask?
If you have, you are ready to participate in the Theater of Questions. If you haven’t, you are ready to participate too.
First degree questioners, you must thus dare to put a letter into the question box.
Second dan questioners, this is an appeal: become an ambassador, a secretary or a full-fledged citizen in the Free State of the Question, conduct a survey, or, still better, your own quest: sculptor, cashier, cobbler, graphic designer, lawyer, student, politician, butcher, linguist, writer, historian, sailor, mailmen, porters, commissionnaires, impostors, you can participate in the project as you see fit, make up objects, texts, actions, design slip roads, question-shoes, register the question-cries of question-animals, set up the interrogative map of the territory, file the crazy questions asked by the great founding ancestors (Ramon Lull, pseudo-Sidrac, Racine, Elle, Code civil, Marie-Claire...), make the Theater of Questions divert its course and, I hope, contribute, in this way, to lead it with us on the way towards the perfect disaster.
As for you, theaters, stations, garages, festivals, schools, public gardens, firms, farms, spaces, participate in the movement of the Theater of Questions: house one for a while. Dig with us the Very Deep Interrogative Hole! .
Interim government of the Free state of the question:
Preacher: Jacques Rebotier
Zoo warden: Virginie Rochetti
Post Office Secretary and impostor: Bertrand Couderc
Secretary of State of emergency: Malte Martin
Secretary of yetis, big foot etc: Karin Serres
Bicanet second-in-command: Frédérique Bruyas
To be continued...
Not too late...